Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

March 20 | Distractions

Saint Cuthbert

A.D. 634–687

As a zealous missionary, a known miracle worker, and the prior of Melrose Abbey, Saint Cuthbert was a busy man. He faced constant distraction in prayer, so much so that he wanted to eliminate all distraction from his life.

Fortunately, Cuthbert was able to become a hermit in what is now known as St. Cuthbert’s Cave. It wasn’t long, however, before he was pulled out and made a bishop. Saint Cuthbert once again had to deal with distraction.

It seems we can never escape distractions, especially when it comes to our prayer life. So what are we to do in the face of distraction during prayer time?

The first thing it’s helpful to realize is that God is speaking to us through the distractions. If you fall asleep in prayer, for example, God might be telling you you're just too busy and exhausted. He might be telling you that you’re giving him your worst time of the day to pray.

When you get distracted in prayer, try not to despise the distraction. Try not to ignore it and move on as quickly as possible. Instead, say, “God, what are you saying to me through this distraction? What are you trying to teach me?” As soon as you begin that conversation with God, you are refocused in prayer.

Just begin the conversation. Once the conversation has begun, it can lead anywhere. Most important, it will lead to the places it needs to lead to. Never underestimate how important it is to just begin the conversation. This is true with your friends and colleagues, your brothers and sisters, your spouse and children, and of course with God.

Like our own lives, Saint Cutherbert's life may have been busier and noisier than he would have liked. But he learned to turn even distractions into a reason to talk to God. Treat your distractions like an invitation to speak with God and your prayer life will be transformed too.


I will use distractions in prayer to begin a new conversation with God.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Mariners, Sailors, Shepherds, Watermen, England, and Against Plague

Feast Day: March 20

Feast Day Shared By: Saint John of Abbott

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