Daily Prayer

* Cuthbert *


Lord God, thank you for loving us even when we turn away from you. We are grateful for your constant care and concern. Though we feel unworthy of your great love, we thank you that through our weaknesses you give us strength; and in our wanderings, you show us the way.


"For Saint Cuthbert" by Kevin Nichols

No man is an island of empty desolate shores,
but the death of each one lessens me and the life of each restores.

This northern sea of ours you knew this island set apart
where once you dwelt in quietness, this Eden of the heart,
knew the gull's way, knew the wind's way, knew the secrets of the sea,
and the Lord walked there in the evening as of old in Galilee.

Then from that island's solitude a neighbour's call, you heard:
"Come over now and help us who hunger for God's word".
In that word's strength in the gospel's power, you left that tranquil place
God's traveller, God's journeyman on your pilgrimage of grace.

Our northern land of changing skies which blossomed in your care
is blessed in your memory and strengthened by your prayer.
With our mind's truth, with our heart's love, through joy and fear and pain,
to the faith you gave, to the hope you lived, we bind ourselves again.

No man is an island of empty desolate shores,
but the death of each one lessens me and the life of each restores.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Cuthbert: “Healer of the Breach”

Cuthbert was the most popular saint of the pre-Norman conquest Anglo- Saxon church.

He was born in about 625 A.D.

In response to a vision of the death of Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert entered religious life and was formed in the austere traditions of Celtic monasticism. He was prior of Melrose Abbey from 651 to 664 and was then prior of Lindisfarne. Made bishop of Hexham in 684, Cuthbert continued to live in Lindisfarne.

The seventh century was the time in England when the Roman rite and custom was imposed on the Christians who had previously followed the Celtic rite and custom. While many voiced schism or bitterly opposed the rule of Rome, Cuthbert accepted the decisions of the Council of Whitby in 663 AD. He was, therefore, a “healer of the breach” that threatened to divide the church into Celtic and Roman factions.

The Venerable Bede wrote a “Life of Saint Cuthbert” which detailed his faithfulness to Christ, his devotion to the people of God, and his simple, austere lifestyle.

Late in his life, he was made a bishop in the church at which time Bede wrote this:

"The venerable man of God, Cuthbert, adorned the office of bishop which he had undertaken, by the exercise of many virtues, according to the precepts and examples of the Apostles. For he protected the people committed to his care with frequent prayers, and invited them to heavenly things by most wholesome admonitions, and followed that system which most facilitates teaching by first doing himself what he taught to others. He saved the needy man from the hand of the stronger and the poor and destitute from those who would oppress them. He comforted the weak and sorrowful but he took care to recall those who were sinfully rejoicing to that sorrow which is according to godliness. Desiring still to exercise his usual frugality, he did not cease to observe the severity of a monastic life amid the turmoil by which he was surrounded. He gave food to the hungry, raiment to the shivering and his course was marked by all the other particulars which adorn the life of a bishop.”

He died at his hermitage on the twentieth of March, 687.

Scripture. In the fifty-fifth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses ten and eleven, we read:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins, and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of the north of England and the Scottish borders.

... for the continuation of the influence of the Celtic tradition within the Christian church.

... for good bishops and church leaders.

... for communion between the different denominations of the Christian church.

... for the people of the world who united by the French language. DETAILS

... that the people of the world may be happy and that our political and economic systems, and our own personal actions, may maximise the happiness of the many rather than just a few. DETAILS

... for sparrows and all the every-day, little creatures of the world. DETAILS

... for the people of Tunisia who celebrate their national day today.

... that we may stop ruining the planet and endangering the very existence of the creatures we share it with; that we may take seriously God's commandment that we should be good stewards of his creation. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From “Evangelli Gaudium" by Pope Francis:

Each particular church, as a portion of the Catholic Church under the leadership of its bishop, is likewise called to missionary conversion. It is the primary subject of evangelisation, since it is the concrete manifestation of the one Church in one specific place, and in it “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative”. It is the Church incarnate in a certain place, equipped with all the means of salvation bestowed by Christ, but with local features. Its joy in communicating Jesus Christ is expressed both by a concern to preach him to areas in greater need and in constantly going forth to the outskirts of its own territory or towards new sociocultural settings. Wherever the need for the light and the life of the risen Christ is greatest, it will want to be there. To make this missionary impulse ever more focused, generous and fruitful, I encourage each particular church to undertake a resolute process of discernment, purification and reform.

The bishop must always foster this missionary communion in his diocesan church, following the ideal of the first Christian communities, in which the believers were of one heart and one soul (cf. Acts 4:32). To do so, he will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind and, above all, allowing the flock to strike out on new paths. In his mission of fostering a dynamic, open and missionary communion, he will have to encourage and develop the means of participation proposed in the canon law and other forms of pastoral dialogue, out of a desire to listen to everyone and not simply to those who would tell him what he would like to hear. Yet the principal aim of these participatory processes should not be ecclesiastical organisation but rather the missionary aspiration of reaching everyone.


Ever-living God, you called your servant Cuthbert to proclaim the gospel in northern England and gave him a loving heart and a gentle spirit: grant us grace to live as he did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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