Friday, October 23, 2009

ISLANDS OF LIGHT


The folly of the recent move by Pope Benedict to welcome alienated priests from the Anglican communion into the Roman Catholic Church,  a profound act of betrayal of the spirit of ecumenism, should not be a cause of dismay alone, but also one of joy, because the Church is born in suffering. We are clearly being led by Providence into a new 'Dark Ages,' painful as that might be to contemplate, in which many of us are being called together to form Islands of Light in resistance to the coming dark.  Above all, we are being called to 'let go' of the institution and move beyond it,  trusting in the Spirit alone as she carries us over the horizon towards the Unknown.
 
 
THE ISLES OF SKELLIG , OFF THE RING OF KERRY, WHERE IRISH MONKS KEPT CIVILIZATION ALIVE DURING THE 'DARK AGES.'
It was, in fact, due to places like Skellig Michael that Western Civilization was preserved. Scholars proclaim that when Europe was being overrun with barbarians in the depth of the Dark Ages, these isolated monasteries preserved the arts, reading and indeed civilization itself. These include Skellig, Mont Michele, Iona and Meteora Monastery in Greece. Totally isolated, totally benevolent, angelic anchors.



Yet in spite of their stark inaccessibility, Viking invaders attacked Skellig several times, although there was little to attract them in the way of wealth or material treasure. 

Light always attracts the dark. But it cannot exist for long in places of pure benevolence such as Skellig.

(taken from SPIRIT LIBRARY)
  
ANGELIC ANCHORS



 




"'The Dark Ages' were dark only in the West. Scholarship continued and was also sustained in Eastern Europe by the Byzantines, and in the Middle East by the Arabs.

The revival of the classics in the renaissance was through the valiant work of these monasteries - but in truth, it had as much to do with ancient learning being re-transmitted to the West by the Byzantine and Islamic scholars. "

Terence Weldon


3 comments:

Terence said...

You area right to point to the debt we owe the monasteries during the so-called "Dark Ages". Remember, though, that these were dark only ni the West. Scholarship continued and was also sustained in Eastern Europe by the Byzantines, and in the Middle East by the Arabs.

When I was a student, I was taught the popular view that the only reason for the revival of the classics in the renaissance was through the valiant work of these monasteries - but in truth, it had as much to do with ancient learning being re-transmitted to the West by the Byzantine and Islamic scholars.

Jayden Cameron said...

Thanks, Terry, for the clarification. I've incorporated your comments into the post proper. I love the spiritual witness of these monasteries, Skellig in particular - so isolated, alone, cut off, but a beacon of light during a dark time.

William D. Lindsey said...

Your blog continues to amaze me, Jayden--not just what you post, which is always fresh and soul-stirring, but the visuals. It's a real work of art. I look forward anytime I click on the blog to the ever-changing backgrounds. Just amazing work. in which the medium is part of the message.