Aaa: Aidan, America, Australia - Rising Consciousness

This is Aidan Week. On the night of August 31 Aidan was seen being escorted to heaven by a teenager in the Lammermuir Hills. Bishop J B Lightfoot described him as 'the apostle of England'. His Irish Mission to English-speaking peoples of different races introduced a rule of life to the people and transformed a brutal warrior culture.

This week six North Americans, unknown to each other, found their way to the teaching retreat on Aidan which I led at The Open Gate here on Holy Island. They were a wonderful crowd. They were hungry to learn about Aidan and his protégé Hilda. A Conservative Evangelical Presbyterian minister said 'Across America there is a thirst for a return to spiritual patterns and practices that pre-date the Reformation'. A man who had previously had non-theistic beliefs from the east said 'Now I want to walk and talk with God'. A pastor said 'Aidan speaks to me; I have decided to get out of my car and walk more'. A woman who said she was not a Christian offered a prayer for me before she left. We numbered twelve on the retreat. I reminded them of a quote of Frank Buchman: 'The world has yet to see what God can do through twelve people wholly committed to Him'.

At the Queensland town of Buderim, Australia, plans for an unveiling of a sculpture of Aidan during Aidan Week have gathered momentum and taken on a life of their own. They are not only celebrating Aidan, they are praying for Holy Island. The parish church is to offer prayers on St. Aidan's Sunday. On St. Aidan's Day the Greenhouse will have a healing Eucharist plus prayers too. If all goes well, I will share by Skype in the prayers and the unveiling of the Aidan Sculpture.

There is a rising consciousness of the values, spirituality and relevance for contemporary mission of this gentle, non-threatening Irish Christian who inspired a grass-roots revolution that changed entire peoples. And Europe does not wish to be out-done. A towering young Italian, a journalist on a Vatican newspaper, was engaged in a month's study at York where he learned about Aidan and Hilda. He took a train to Berwick, a taxi to The Open Gate, and, unannounced, asked to do an interview!

Posted at 12:26pm on 28th August 2015
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