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

Devotion for Friday, May 22, 2020

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

I see His blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of His eyes.
—His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
A poem by Joseph M. Plunkett

Psalm 98/99:1-5

The Lord has become king,
let the nations rage.
He is enthroned upon the cherubim,
let the earth tremble.

The Lord is great in Zion,
supreme over all the peoples.
Let them acclaim your great name,
for it is awesome and holy.

For the honor of the king loves justice;
and you have established equity,
you have done justice and right in Jacob.

Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his footstool,
for he is holy.

From Basil’s On The Holy Spirit, chapter 15, #35 cont.

(This being born again ) is like a swimmer who reaches the end of the pool and seems to halt to make the return. A kind of stop, or pause, intervenes from one direction to the next. And so it seems necessary for a kind of death to take place between the two, ending all that went before and beginning all that comes after. Well, how do we achieve a descent into hell? By imitating the burial of Christ in our baptism. As it were, the bodies of the baptized are buried in the water, so baptism symbolically signifies our shedding the deeds of the flesh. As Paul says, “having been buried along with him in baptism, you were circumcised, not by an operation performed by hands, but by the cutting away of the body of flesh (i.e., an idiom for human nature, the things the flesh does “naturally”) through Christ’s circumcising.” (Col. 2:11) There is also a washing away from the soul, as it were, of the filth that had crusted on it from the carnal mind, as it is written, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

A Prayer

As your Son ascends to take his seat with you, send us in return your Holy Spirit, Father, as Jesus promised to obtain for us from you. May that Spirit transform our hearts so that the first of all the fruits that the Spirit engenders in us may be love, a love so real and authentic that it will make us pleasing to you, and prompt us to do your will. For we make this prayer through Jesus, your Beloved Son, who now—sitting at your right hand—makes intercession for us, and who works with us through that Spirit. Amen.