Live What You Say
Jesus said: “How terrible for you teachers of God’s Law! You put loads on people’s backs which are hard to carry, but you yourselves will not stretch out a finger to help them carry those loads”. Luke 11: 46
Aidan’s way of life was in great contrast to the slothfulness of later times, so much so that all who travelled with him, monks or others, were required to use the time to study the Scriptures and memorise the psalms. This was the daily task of Aidan and his disciples wherever they went. If, as occasionally happened, he had to dine with the king, he attended with one or two of his team and after eating lightly they would leave the table in order to read the Bible or pray.
Inspired by his example, many men and women undertook to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until evening, except for the periods of celebration after Easter and Pentecost.
If wealthy people did wrong Aidan did not keep silence out of fear or favour, but would sternly correct them. He never gave money to influential people, only the hospitality of his table. He used money rich people gave him to buy the freedom of people who had been unjustly sold as slaves. Many of these later became disciples; after training and instructing them he ordained them.
Based on Bede
Celtic monks lived in conspicuous poverty; Roman monks lived well.
Celtic monks were unworldly; Roman monks were worldly.
Celtic bishops practised humility; Roman bishops paraded pomp.
Celtic bishops were shepherds of their flocks; Roman bishops were monarchs of their Dioceses.
Celtic clergymen said ‘Do as I do’ and hoped to be followed; Roman clergyman said ‘Do as I say’ and expected to be obeyed.
Father,whose gentle apostle Aidan
befriended everyone he met
with Jesus Christ
give me his humble, Spirit-filled zeal
that I may inspire others to learn your ways
and to pass on the torch of faith.