11th January


Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14: 1

Cuthbert decided to join a monastery. He had heard of the prophetic leadership of Boisil, abbot of Melrose, so he rode to Melrose with his boy servant. As Cuthbert dismounted and gave his sword and spear to his servant to take away, Boisil was watching. Foreseeing in spirit how great the man whom he saw was going to be, he uttered this one sentence to those who were with him: ‘Mark this. Here is a servant of the Lord’. Bede comments that in saying this Boisil was echoing Jesus’ words on first seeing Nathaniel ‘Here is a true man of the people, in whom there is nothing false’.

Years later Cuthbert returned to Melrose monastery, where he fell victim to the plague,though he was to recover. Boisil prophesied: ‘You will not get the plague again, nor will you die at the present time; however, I will die of this plague; so let me use the seven days left to me to teach you’. They spent each of those days studying John’s Gospel.

In fact Boisil had predicted the plague to his abbot Eata three years before it appeared, and did not hide the fact that he himself would be carried off by it; but he declared that the abbot himself would not die of this but rather of dysentery, and events proved his prophecy was true.

Cuthbert used to tell people ‘I have known many who far exceed me in their prophetic powers. Foremost amongst these is Boisil who trained me up, and foretold accurately all the things which were to happen to me. Of all these things only one remains to be fulfilled’. This was the prophecy that Cuthbert would become a bishop. It may be Cuthbert would have refused the pressures on him to become a bishop had it not been for Boisil’s prophecy. After his death Boisil appeared in prophetic dreams which helped shape the future of the kingdom.

God of the thunder
God of the sap
God of the future
God of the map
God of the silence
God of the gap
I make room for your spirit,
like a child in my lap.