Monday, October 24, 2016
2174 Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the Sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day Sunday: We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.
2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all." Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.
Training in the areas of emotion and instinct is necessary, and at times this requires setting limits. Excess, lack of control or obsession with a single form of pleasure can end up weakening and tainting that very pleasure and damaging family life. A person can certainly channel his passions in a beautiful and healthy way, increasingly pointing them towards altruism and an integrated self-fulfillment that can only enrich interpersonal relationships in the heart of the family. This does not mean renouncing moments of intense enjoyment, but rather integrating them with other moments of generous commitment, patient hope, inevitable weariness and struggle to achieve an ideal. Family life is all this and it deserves to be lived to the fullest. Some currents of spirituality teach that desire has to be eliminated as a path to liberation from pain. Yet we believe that God loves the enjoyment felt by human beings: he created us and “richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17). Let us be glad when with great love he tells us: “My son, treat yourself well…Do not deprive yourself of a happy day” (Sir 14:11-14). Married couples likewise respond to God’s will when they take up the biblical injunction: “Be joyful in the day of prosperity” (Ec 7:14). What is important is to have the freedom to realize that pleasure can find different expressions at different times of life, in accordance with the needs of mutual love. In this sense, we can appreciate the teachings of some Eastern masters who urge us to expand our consciousness, lest we be imprisoned by one limited experience that can blind us. This expansion of consciousness is not the denial or destruction of desire so much as it’s broadening and perfection.
Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew: שמיני עצרת), means 'The eighth day break' or 'the eighth day of assembly'. It is celebrated preceding Simchat Torah and in some regions celebrated together with it. Services for this holiday often include a Geshem, prayer for rain.
- · Pray for Rain. Shemini Azeret and Simchat Torah is often accompanied by prayers for the rain. The holidays are in the autumn, which is a critical period in Israel for harvests.
- · On Shmini Atzeret, it is customary for Orthodox Jews to spend an 'extra day with God' and postpone their return to work and to mundane tasks.