This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Wednesday, March 17, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Stretching out your arms upon the cross
you embraced the four corners of the world.
—And through you, O Son of God,
we extol you as we find our way to the Father.
They disdained the desirable land,
and would not believe his word.
They grumbled in their tents
and would not listen to the voice of the Lord.
So he raised his hand against them
to lay them low in the desert,
to drive their children among the nations
and scatter them in other lands.
And Israel took to the Baal of Peor
and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
They enraged him with their practices
and paralysis broke out among them.
Phineas stood up and made atonement,
and the plague abated.
And it was credited as righteousness to him
from generation to generation; yes, forever.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #5, cont.
Whoever wants to be a real follower of God must sever the bonds of attachment to this life, and this is done by giving up and forgetting old habits. Unless we can distance ourselves from both the ties of the flesh and secular society and be transferred to another world in our life-style —as it were—it is impossible for us to achieve our goal. Paul reminds us, “We are citizens of heaven, (Phil. 3:20)” The Lord said precisely that, “every one of you that does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) Having done that, we should guard our hearts with all vigilance, not only to avoid losing the thought of God or contaminating our remembrance of his wonders by foolish fantasies, but to carry around within us that holy thought of God stamped on our souls as a permanent seal by a pure and constant recollection. In this way we shall excel in the love of God which simultaneously moves us to keep the Lord’s commandments and this—in turn—will preserve love indestructibly and permanently.
Lord Jesus, everything I have was given to me by your Father. May your Holy Spirit constantly remind me of that fact, so I do not begin to treat my opportunities and my possessions as something that is only my doing. In my relationship with my loved ones and others, may I remember that they, too, are gifts to me, and may I never exploit them in any manner. Amen.