lindisfarne-monochrome-300x220Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne (d. 651) was an Irish missionary to the Anglo-Saxon people of Northumbria.  His feast day is 31 August.  Saint Aidan established the monastery on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where he would go to pray and study.  When the tide was in, the island was completely surrounded by water, but when the tide went out, a person could walk upon the mudflats to the mainland.  So when the tide allowed, Aidan escaped the world of ministry, and turned inward to prayer, but when the tide changed, he could go forth into Northern England to evangelize the people.  There is a prayer attributed to St. Aidan that speaks of this balance between meditation and work, and we repeat it here:

“Leave me alone with God as much as may be.  As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island, set apart, alone with you, God, holy to you.  Then with the turning of the tide prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond, the world that rushes in on me till the waters come again and fold me back to you.”