This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, February 5, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
I saw a great crowd before the throne,
dressed in white robes before the Lamb.
—And they kept crying in a loud voice,
“Our salvation is the Lord’s!” Cf. Rev. 7:9-10
Praise the Lord from the earth:
you sea monsters and all the deeps,
fire, hail, snow, ice,
storm winds and all that do his bidding—
Mountains and hills,
fruit trees and cedars,
wild animals and tame,
reptiles and birds on the wing—
Kings of the earth, and all peoples,
leaders and all judges of the earth,
young men and maidens,
elders along with the young—
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted.
He is renowned in heaven and earth,
and he will raise the horn of his people.
A hymn for all his devout
and the children of Israel,
a people who draw near to him!
From Basil’s letter to Sozopolis, #261
The idea that human feelings are transmitted to the actual divine nature is the notion of people who do not think straight, and are ignorant that there is a distinction between the feelings of flesh, of flesh endowed with soul (i.e., a psyche), and of soul using a body. It is the property of flesh to undergo division, diminution, dissolution; of flesh endowed with soul to feel weariness, pain, hunger, thirst, and to be overcome by fatigue; of soul using the body to feel grief, depression, anxiety, and such like. Of these some are natural and necessary to every living creature; others come from a deviant will, from a lack of proper discipline and training for virtue. So it is evident that our Lord assumed natural affections to establish his real incarnation, and did not pretend such. He rejected all the affections derived from evil that besmirch the purity of our life as unworthy of his unsullied divinity. It is on this account that he is said to have been made in the likeness of flesh that could sin and not, as these people hold, in the likeness of flesh that is itself sinful. In other words, he took our flesh with its natural afflections, but without sinning. Cf. 1 Peter 2:22 Just as physical death is transmitted to us through Adam and was swallowed up by the divinity, so was the sin taken away by the righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, so that in the resurrection we receive back flesh neither liable to death nor subject to sin.
Let us use our voices to praise you for your sovereignty over every aspect of our lives, O God, and to appeal to you to strengthen our mind to grasp your eternal truth, to discipline our emotions to love chastely and authentically, and to strengthen our physical body that we might do good, all for your glory in whose image we are made. Amen!