The Gospel story of Jesus sleeping peacefully while his disciples panic on their storm-tossed boat is a lesson for us through out history.
The early Christians on Holy Island relate a story which can show us a way of putting this lesson into practice.
A delegation from Lindisfarne once had to travel far south by boat to bring back the princess who was to marry Northumbria's king. The delegation's leader, Utta, knowing of the dangers in making such a trip, begged St. Aiden to pray for their safe journey. Aiden gave them a jar of consecrated oil to take with them. He predicted that they would most assuredly encounter storms, but that the winds would cease as soon as they poured the oil onto the troubled waters.
On their return journey a storm did blow up. It was so fierce that the boat began to sink and the frightened crew thought they would all perish -- until Aiden's words were remembered. They poured the sacred oil over the pounding waves and the storm immediately subsided. This story is the origin of the phrase, handed down through the centuries, "to pour oil on troubled waters."
The world often seems to be a sea of troubles. The lesson for us is to learn, in our prayers, to pour oil on troubled waters.