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

Devotion for Friday, February 19, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

Friday after Ash Wednesday

An Invitation to Prayer

The light of grace shines for us:
this is the acceptable time,
the season of improvement.
—Let us strip away our faults
and don the armor of light.

Psalm 50/51:12-16

Create a clean heart in me, O God,
and renew a well-ordered spirit within me.
Do not toss me from before your face,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore the joy of your salvation to me
and support me with a guiding spirit.

I will teach your ways to the lawless
and the irreverent will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will revel in your justice.

A reading adapted from Basil’s Preface to The Long Rules

We say we want the heavenly kingdom, yet we are not concerned for the means by which to obtain it. Although we put up with no hardship on behalf of the Lord’s orders, we foolishly expect to enjoy equality with the martyrs who resisted sin at the cost of their lives. What person ever sat at home or slept through the planting season and then brought in a great harvest? The laborers deserve their wages. Rewards and laurels belong to the victorious. Who ever crowned an athlete who didn’t even bother to suit up for the contest with an opponent? Saint Paul says it is not only necessary to win, but also to contend fairly. In other words, to carry out each detail as ordered and not to neglect even a small part of what is required. Jesus says, “Blessed is that servant whom the Master, on his return, shall find him doing”—not just anything—but “doing these thing;” that is, the responsibilities that had been imposed on that servant.

A Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed Son, Jesus Christ, went about doing good and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people,
continue—we beseech you—his gracious work through the endeavors of our Order. Prosper our work, O Lord, with your continual blessing,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen