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

Devotion for Monday, February 22, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

Monday after the first Sunday of Lent

An Invitation to Prayer

Let us, brothers and sisters,
for the sake of God’s compassion,
offer him our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.
—This is sacred and reasonable worship! (Rom 12:1)

Psalm 37/38:9-14

All I yearn for is before you,
and my moaning is no secret to you.
My heart is troubled, and my strength fails me,
and the light in my eyes has gone out.

My friends and acquaintances approach and stand back,
my closest relatives keep their distance.
Those who sought my life attacked me,
and those seeking to hurt me spoke nonsense,
making up lies every day.

Like someone who could not hear,
I did not hear,
and like someone who could not speak,
I did not open my mouth.
And like someone who cannot hear,
I had no response in my mouth.

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

To sum up, I note three attitudes which might characterize our obedience: one where we avoid all evil for fear of retribution, and so we assume the attitude of a slave; or when we keep the commandments for our own advantage for the reward they bring, and this is the attitude of a hired hand; or, because what is ordered is virtuous, and out of love for the one who commands it, we are happy to be thought worthy to serve so good and glorious a God, and so we assume the attitude of a son or daughter. Remember one who keeps the commandments out of fear, always looking to avoid the penalty a violation may bring, will not keep some of them and neglect others but will keep all of them, afraid of all of them equally. As Scripture says, Blessed is the one who is piously cautious in everything.” (Prov. 28:14) And again, “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord, he will utterly delight in his commandments.” It is not likely than anyone genuinely afraid will overlook any order or carry it out carelessly.

A Prayer

How great is the honor you bestow on us, O Good Lord, in calling us into your service. Although, like any soldier, we may expect our pay, let it become a second thought to the great dignity with which you have invested us in our Order. May we always prove to be good soldiers, ever at the ready to carry out your orders, and ever ready to endure the rigors of so great a campaign as the establishment of your kingdom on this earth. Amen.