Openness to the Wind of the Spirit

Aidan of Lindesfarne

We allow God to take us where the Spirit wills, whether by gentle breeze or wild wind. The Celtic Christians had such faith in the leading of the Spirit that they gladly put to sea in small coracles, and went where the wind took them. We desire this kind of openness to the leading of the Spirit. Essential to this is a proper affirmation of the gift of prophecy. St. Paul urges us all to prophesy (I Corinthians 14:1). We honor this gift and encourage its proper and appropriate use. Learning to listen is a skill that has almost been lost, and which takes many years to acquire. We seek to cultivate an interior silence that recognizes and sets aside discordant voices, to respond to unexpected or disturbing promptings of God, to widen our horizons, to develop “the eye of the eagle” and see and hear God through his creation.


“The wind (πνευμα) blows where it wills, and we cannot see where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with those who are born of the Spirit (Πνευμα).”  Those who follow the Way of Aidan and Hilda are expected to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and that means that we cannot be too tied to the things of this world, nor to the patterns and institutions of this world. Doing only what is “normal”(1) or expected isn’t enough, for we can never predict where the Spirit will take us.

But if we are steeped in the scriptures, and in fellowship with the Saints who have gone before us, then we will be able to hear the wind, and know when it blows, and feel the guidance of the Spirit in our lives. “We’ve never done it this way before!” is not an excuse, but a call for action! What new and exiting things is God doing now?

We are not required to know or understand all the God has in mind for us. Abraham set out from his home in the city of Ur with no idea where he was being led. Moses took the people of Israel in to the Sinai dessert with no idea how he was going to get them to the Promised Land. The disciples followed Jesus for three years with no inkling where it would take them.

But they, and we, know that wherever the Spirit might lead us, God is there.

Brendan the Navigator

Footnote: 1. Normal – A: a city in Illinois, B: a setting on the dryer

(c) 2013

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