This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, November 10, 2019
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Bless the Lord, nights and days;
sing hymns and highly exalt him forever.
—Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
sing hymns and highly exalt him forever. (3 Dan 71&72)
I have cried to you, O Lord,
do not ignore me in silence,
for if you ignore me in silence
I will become like those
descending into the pit.
Listen to the sound of my petition—
in my appeal to you,
when I lift my hands
toward your Holy Temple.
Do not corral my life with sinners,
do not destroy me with those who act unjustly,
who speak peace with their neighbors
with evil in their hearts.
Give them what their works deserve,
and what their evil schemes warrant.
Give them what their actions merit,
grant them their just deserts.
Basil’s letter #6, to the wife of Nectarius.
I hesitated to address Your Excellency, knowing that, just as even the mildest of remedies applied to an inflamed eye causes pain, so words offered in the moment of agony to a soul distressed by heavy sorrow, even though they may bring some comfort, seem to be awkward or trite. But I reminded myself that I would be speaking to a Christian woman who long ago learned the lessons of godliness, and that she is not ignorant of the vicissitudes of human life. So I judged it right not to neglect the duty laid upon me. I know what a mother’s heart is, and when I remember how good and gentle you are to all, I can reckon the probable extent of your misery at this present time. You have lost a son whom, while he was alive, any mother would call delightful, with a prayer that her own might be like him. They also grieve at his death as though burying their own in the grave. His death is a blow to two provinces, both to mine and to Cilicia. A great and illustrious race has fallen with him, crashing to the ground as though a prop had been pulled out. Oh, the horrible mischief that contact with an evil demon was able to cause! Earth, what a calamity you have been compelled to sustain! If the sun had any feeling, one would think it might have shuddered at so sad a sight. Who could repeat all that the wind in its helplessness might have said?
But our lives are not without Providence. We have learned in the Gospel that no sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Father. (Matt 10:29) Whatever has come to pass, has come to pass by the will of our Creator.
O Father, how often I have repeated the words, “Your will be done!” But now I must gauge the sincerity of my declaration, my commitment. When I am in soul-wrenching grief, do I still intend—to the fullest—that petition? When my confidence in you shakes from the gale of sorrow, send you Spirit to strengthen my mind and heart, so that in times of calamity, as well an on happy days, I may truly mean “Your will be done!” whenever I repeat those words. Amen.