Today the church remembers Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 687.A man of large stature and unusual physical prowess, Cuthbert seemed destined from his youth for leadership. He, however, was always concerned that his spiritual leadership match his physical endowments. Prior to accepting a call to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, he spent eight years in prayer and meditation on the cold and isolated island of Farne. Cuthbert's episcopate was brief but highly significant. It was occasioned by plague, war, and schism. He spent much time caring for and healing the sick and preaching against the superstitious use of charms and amulets. In the midst of war, Bishop Cuthbert went fearlessly among his people, ministering to the wounded and inspiring hope in the survivors. He worked toward the reconciliation of those Celtic Christians who were dissatisfied with the liturgical and political changes being effected by the Roman Church in Britain. Cuthbert led many men to salvation in Christ and contributed significantly to the Christianization of the North Country of England. Holy living to Cuthbert meant a life of service. As the historian Bede put it, "He was aflame with the fire of divine charity; and to give counsel and help to the weak he considered equal to an act of prayer"knowing that he who said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God' also said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor.' " May the love of Christ so inflame our hearts that we are led to love our neighbors in both word and deed. Amen.
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Almighty God, you called Cuthbert from following the flock to be a shepherd of your people: Mercifully grant that, as he sought in dangerous and remote places those who had erred and strayed from your ways, so we may seek the indifferent and the lost, and lead them back to thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.