Archbishop Cushley today highlighted on national radio how people are rising to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic with "acts of selfless love".
He spoke on BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, to discuss how examples of good deeds and self-sacrifice are providing inspiration to millions of people across the world.
"Moments of crisis bring out both the best and the worst in human nature.
"While it's easy to become discouraged, there are signs of hope all around us, with ordinary people rising to the challenge of these days with little acts of selfless love: a concerned phone call to an elderly relative, a bag of essential supplies for neighbours unable to get out and whole communities finding creative ways of coming together when we can't leave our houses.
"The story of Fr Giuseppe Berardelli is a bit more dramatic than most. He was the parish priest of the little town of Casnigo, near Bergamo. Aged seventy-two, he travelled everywhere on his trusty old motorbike and greeted everyone he met with a ready smile and a friendly word.
“Ordinary people are rising to the challenge...with little acts of selfless love.”
— Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh (@archedinburgh) March 25, 2020
"When he was admitted to hospital, suffering from the Coronavirus, it was rumoured that he gave away his ventilator so he could save the life of a younger man, whom Fr Giuseppe had never met. What we do know is that he was buried, much loved, but without even a funeral.
"His story reminds me of another priest, from another era, Maximilian Kolbe. Imprisoned in Auschwitz concentration camp, Kolbe saved a fellow prisoner about to be executed, by offering to take his place. When he was officially recognised as a saint, the Pope called him 'a martyr of love' and the 'patron saint of a difficult century.'
"Who knows whether Fr Giuseppe was a saint – but in a way, it doesn't matter. Stories of people like him and Kolbe provide inspiration and hope for people all across the world.
"And maybe the ventilator that we give to our neighbour will be an encouraging word, a good meal or some help with the homework. Maybe our 'martyrdom' will simply be to stay indoors and suffer this difficult season with patience.
"If Fr Giuseppe is in heaven, I'm sure he'll help us out with a prayer or two. May he rest in peace; and may you all keep each other safe."
This Thought for the Day was broadcast on Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 25 March 2020.