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

Devotion for Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

You have brought us to this day
in anticipation of that sacred week
when we shall see Lazarus raised from the dead.
—May we continue in respect and awe before you
as the end of our pious journey approaches.

Psalm 106/107:1-7

Alleluia!
Acknowledge the Lord, for he is kind,
for his mercy is eternal.
Let those redeemed by the Lord say so,
those he freed from the hand of the enemy
and gathered in from the nations,
from east and from west,
from north and from the sea.

They wandered in the wasteland, the desert,
not finding any way to a city to live in.
They were hungry and thirsty,
their lives ebbing away.
They cried out to the Lord in their affliction
and he delivered them from their distress.
He guided them along a direct route
to get to a city they could dwell in.

A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #6

The Necessity of Seclusion

Living in a more remote and secluded area aids the avoidance of distractions. Solomon (Prov. 22:24 & 25) warns about living among those who are mediocre or loose with keeping the commandments. “Do not become friends with a hotheaded person, nor go along with a cantankerous person, otherwise you will learn to be like that and it will snare your soul.” As Paul says, “Leave them and go off by yourself, says the Lord,” (II Cor. 6:17) so that we are not induced to sin from our senses becoming habituated to such behavior, and so that the impression and style—so to speak—of what is seen and heard may not remain in the soul to ruin it. And so that we may be constant in prayer, we should look for a quiet place to live. In doing that we should be able to overcome our earlier habits when we were strangers to the precepts of Christ. (It is no small struggle to gain mastery over one’s accustomed way of behaving because a habit maintained over a long period of time takes on the force of nature.)

A Prayer

You began the repair of the damage begun when Adam stretched out his hand to grasp the only fruit you had forbidden, putting out the fires of sin by the wood of the cross, O Christ. And by the wounds of the nails in your hands, you saved us from the hand of our enemy. For this we shall praise you forever. Amen.