This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.

Devotion for Friday, August 16, 2019

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

August 3

An Invitation to Prayer

Let us pay attention to the discipline of our father

that we may grow wise in the future.

—How many thoughts crowd our hearts

but the advice of the Lord is perennial!  (Prov. 19:20&21)

Psalm 144/145:7-13

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,

patient and tender.

The Lord is good to those who are faithful

and his compassion extends to all his works.

Let all your works acknowledge you, O Lord,

and let your devoted ones bless you.

They shall tell about the glory of your kingdom,

and speak about your sovereignty,

to make your dominion known to the human race

and the majestic glory of your domain.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

and your dominion shall endure for all generations.

The Lord is faithful in what he says,

and holy in all his works.

From Basil’s Homily Against Anger.

Once reason has been pushed aside, this agitation takes control of the soul itself and makes the human being just like a wild beast, suspending his humanity since he no longer has the aid of reason. Like venom in poisonous creatures, so is temper in those who are provoked. They go mad like dogs, they sting like scorpions, they bite like snakes. Scripture acknowledges this in calling those ruled by this passion “wild beasts” since they have made themselves like them by evil. It calls them dumb dogs. (Cf. Isaiah 56:9&10, Come, all you wild animals; and devour, all you beasts of the forest. See how they are all blinded? They know nothing. They are dumb dogs!)  It calls them snakes and a nest of vipers (Cf. Matt 23:33), and the like. Those who are prepared to destroy each other and harm their own kind should be appropriately counted among the wild beasts and venomous creatures in whom we find an innate antagonism toward human beings.

A Prayer

Holy Father, I have been called to offer you a sacrifice of praise through Jesus (Heb. 13:15). Do not let the lapses of my tongue defile the gift I want to present to you.  Let me become as patient and tender as you are, as compassionate and merciful. Certainly there will be times when I am profoundly provoked, and it will be in that moment, at the height of a critical battle, that I will most need your divine assistance to control my emotions and reactions, as any good soldier must.  Make me strong in self-control and effective in charity through Jesus Christ, my liege Lord. Amen.