Sunday, April 29, 2007

My favorite website on the Middle Ages

Dear Catholicwriters fan,

This website provides many hours of distraction, as well as edification.

Learn all about the first Irish monastic settlements, and the beehive-shaped stone cells the ascetics lived in. Also fascinating: St. Brigid's Fire, lit for the poor to warm themselves at Kildare by this saint called "The Mary of Ireland." The fire has burned continuously and the nuns at Kildare tend the flame of hospitality to this day. Learn about Iona, St. Columba's home in the Outer Hebrides. Or Clonfert, the ruins on the Shannon, consisting of a door....

The thought has struck me again and again that the British Isles will not be reconverted to ardent faith while the holy places, where learning and faith were nourished, are left in ruins. We have no memory of what we cannot see, whether it is the battlefield of Manassas under a shopping mall, or four lands with silent monasteries destroyed by pagan Danes, or those lying wasted under manors built after the seizure of lands during King Henry's tenure. The British Isles once sent missions to Charlemagne's court which led to the reconversion of the continent ... if these halls of prayer, song and writing stand again, what could happen? Dream big dreams. God like big prayers, not little ones.

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