This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Monday, March 15, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Monday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent
An Invitation to Prayer
Let us celebrate this luminous season and exclaim,
Lord, preserve us in peace and deliver us from evil.
—That we may become worthy to venerate your cross with awe,
for from it you have showered the abundance of your love.
We have sinned as our ancestors,
we did wrong, we were unjust.
Our ancestors did not understand your wonders in Egypt,
they did not grasp the extent of your mercy.
They provoked God as they approached the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up.
He led them through the deep as though a desert.
He rescued them from the hand of those who hated them,
and saved them from the grasp of the enemy.
The water covered those who afflicted them,
and not one of them was left.
Then they believed his words
and sang his praise.
But they quickly forgot his works,
and did not wait for his instruction.
Their cravings consumed them in the desert
and tempted God in that waterless place.
He gave them what they wanted,
and sent a surfeit to their souls.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #5, cont.
Once we have done this (cut the ties of attachment to this life), we should guard our heart with all vigilance, not only to avoid losing this constant awareness of God, nor by corrupting the memory of his wonders by foolish daydreaming, but also to carry around the holy thought of God stamped upon our souls as an ineffaceable seal by a constant and uncontaminated recollection. And that is how we shall excel in loving God which, at the same time, strengthens us to observe the Lord’s mandates, and by this—in turn—love will be preserved forever indestructible. The Lord proves this by saying on one occasion, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments;” and again, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love;” and with even greater insistence, “just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” By these words he teaches us that when we undertake any task we should set our goal before ourselves, which is the will of the one who has laid the task upon us, and to direct our efforts toward him.
Most Holy Spirit, breath constantly in me, enlightening my mind to remember Jesus at all times, like a sweet song in the background of my daily tasks. May your life-giving presence within me guide me to resist any and all temptations to an unholy self-promotion. May I be ever ready to promote and rejoice in what is truly best, even if I would have preferred otherwise. Amen.