- File Size: 2360 KB
- Print Length: 64 pages
- Publisher: Philip Kosloski (April 28, 2017)
- Publication Date: April 28, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B072NYR61H
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,801 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Descriptions of how the monks of Skellig Michael came to be, why, how they lived and how they compared to other equal-minded groups are awe inspiring. What I particularly like about this book is how Kosloski inserts little bits of catechesis into the fact-telling. Just a few examples are: What is means to be a soldier of Christ - then and now; There is a necessity to "pray always!; What the Mass and Eucharist are; Life is short and eternity is forever; and NEWS BREAK: Satan still exists today!
This is a good book. It is short. It is interesting and easy to read. It helps one to learn something about Church history.
Diagrams and illustrations make for a most clear and understandable read, and the many corroborating quotes from highly respected sources, such as the Popes, early Church Fathers and Christ Himself, add to the authenticity of this book’s claims.
Specifics of their daily lives, in which work and prayer take the foremost place, are recounted to show how the monks were reminded of their primary duty as spiritual warriors. The ‘source and summit of their faith’ which sustained this community for some 600 years was the celebration of the most holy sacrifice of the Mass and the True Presence of Jesus. “It was a daily miracle, and the strength they received to work and pray atop the lonely peak flowed from the Mass; without which they may not have lasted very long.”
The reflection of many of the monks’ practices in the modern phenomenon of the Star Wars characters brings a new sense of richness to the Lucas films; an ah-ha! sense of satisfaction in finally understanding that the ‘truths’ which we all can sense in the Star Wars series are simply symbols of the deep Truths lived and fought for by the ‘green martyrdom’ of the monks of Skellig Michael - a desire to willingly take up sacrifices that would unite them to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
A fascinating compilation of Irish Catholic history, archeology, and spiritual lessons from Church fathers and Scripture, all quite interestingly tied to the Star Wars Jedi knights, Kosloski has created a compelling read which accurately describes and defines the motivation behind everything that the monks did on Skellig Michael. Their lives were “directed towards their ultimate destination of Heaven. They saw their lives on earth as temporary, a passing shadow that would eventually give way to the light of eternity.” He thus provides a model of life for taking up the spiritual battle, armed with prayer, self-denial and the sword of the Spirit, based on unshakeable, eternal Truth- a light to the paths of all who have eyes open to see.
The chapters in the booklet are:
Why Skellig Michael?
The Hive of Spiritual Nourishment
A Day in the Life of a Spiritual Warrior
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael and their Legacy
The book begins with a cloaked figure near beehive huts with a large cross on a pedestal. This could be a monk from of old, or it could be Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens. And then the first words in the book are a quote from George Bernard Shaw: "The most fantastic and impossible rock in the world: Skellig Michael… the Skelligs are pinnacled, crocketed, spired, arched, caverned, minaretted; and these gothic extravagances are not curiosities of the islands: they are the islands: there is nothing else. The rest of the cathedral may be under the sea for all I know… An incredible, impossible, mad place… I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world." And searching photos of this place and the footage we see in the film confirm those statements. This is a place that seems to bot belong to our world. And yet Monks choose to live there. There is an incredible history of prayer, sacrifice and work on this island. Though few remaining history documents reference Skellig Michael recent archaeology has added to what is known of these monks, and early Christian Monasticism in Ireland.
This book also draws from the history of the Star Wars Universe and states:
"In early drafts of the Star Wars script, Lucas wrote about a 16-year-old boy who seeks entrance into the "Intersystems Academy to train as a potential Jedi-Templer." [v] Lucas deliberately used the word "Jedi-Templer," in a nod to the warrior religious monks historically known as the "Knights Templar." After these initial drafts, the word Templer was discarded, but Lucas did not drop the idea entirely, referring to the spiritual sages throughout his films as "Jedi Knights.""
He also makes a linkage to the Catholic Church:
"Besides having a connection to the Christian monks of the Middle Ages, the Jedi also use a phrase that is intimately tied to the Christian religion. The popular phrase "May the force be with you," is in fact "a variation on the Christian phrase May the Lord be with you and with your spirit- in Latin, Dominus vobiscum et cum Spiritu tuo, which was often written by Saint Paul at the end of his letters."[ vii] Producer Gary Kurtz confirmed the phrase was intentionally evocative of the blessing often used in Catholic liturgical ceremonies."
And this book goes on from the Star Wars theme to examine the religious history of such a place, the seeking of a desert experience, the concept of a green Martyrdom and of being soldiers in Christ's army. It is believed that Saint Fionán founded this monastery with a band of 12 brothers, these men focused on living holy lives and extreme way of life.
This book was a fascinating read, and not just for this history or pop culture reference. In fact the greatest thing about this book is the reminder to us, the readers, to be aware of the need for discipline, to be prepared to engage in spiritual warfare. In quoting Saint Pope John Paul II from his visit to the island:
"This battle against the devil which characterizes the Archangel Michael is still going on, because the devil is still alive and at work in world. In fact, the evil that is in it, the disorder we see in society, the infidelity of man, the interior fragmentation of which he is a victim, are not merely the consequences of original sin, but also the effect of the dark and infesting activity of Satan, of this saboteur of man's moral equilibrium."
A wonderful little read that I can highly recommend!
I feel like a monk of old in a new age. Yes, Star Wars takes on a new meaning for me. When I think of the last scene in the last Star Wars movie, all things come together. The Jedi are the monks of the far off future. I am no monk nor a Jedi but I can be my own monk in my quest for the path to the Almighty.
I loved this short book. My day is now very different. I have a new breastplate to put on this morning. A prayer that we say at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Hours has taken on a new and better meaning for me.
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