Aidan And Hilda's Children

On August 25 that saintly abbess Hilda was placed in a shrine at York. On August 31 her mentor, Aidan, died. Our dispersed community members, whether or not they 'do saints', observes August 25 -31 as Aidan and Hilda Week. Tides and times wait for no one, however, so this year our annual A and H retreat ended on August 25. As the leader, I resided at The Open Gate, on Holy Island.

The retreat was fully booked with inspiring people, including two new friends from Australia. We learned about the Ireland from which Aidan came, the strategy and spirituality of his mission to the English, the role of Hilda as a leader and merciful mother, and how their spiritual children continued to impact Britain after the Irish monks returned to Ireland. We ended, however, with this question: What might it mean to be their spiritual children today?

A new book called 'The Benedict Option' wonders whether our world needs a towering new personality such as Benedict. We concluded it needs archetypal male - female models like Aidan and Hilda multiplied a million times. Bit how may we grow in such qualities? This imagined Homily of Hilda gives us a good start:

Trade with the gifts God has given you.

Bend your minds to holy learning,

that you may escape the fretting moth of littleness of mind that would wear out your souls.

Brace your wills to actions that they may not be the spoils of weak desires.

Train your hearts and lips to song which gives courage to the soul.

Being buffeted by trials, learn to laugh.

Being reproved, give thanks.

Having failed, determine to succeed.

Posted at 04:06am on 26th August 2017