1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).Directly in front of me on the shelving unit of the computer desk at which I'm working is a book I read several years ago, How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill. I had pulled it out to look something up recently. If you haven't read it, it's a fascinating book, not the least reason being its profile of Saint Patrick.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people. [That is, ask five other bloggers to respond to the same MEME.]
Here are the three sentences I found just beyond the first five sentences on page 123, which just happens to be the beginning of chapter 5:
By 461, the likely year of Patrick’s death, the Roman Empire is careening in chaos, barely fifteen years away from the death of the last western emperor. The accelerated change is, at this point, so dramatic we should not be surprised that the eyes of historians have been riveted on it or that they have failed to notice a transformation just as dramatic--and even more abrupt--taking place at the empire’s periphery. For as the Roman lands went from peace to chaos, the land of Ireland was rushing even more rapidly from chaos to peace.Cahill's thesis is that the Irish church saved ancient wisdom and was the home of a rubust, joyous, grace-filled faith in Christ.