This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, April 30, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Christ was put to death in the flesh
but brought to life in the Spirit.
—Ascending to the right hand of God in heaven
Lord of all Angels, Authorities and Powers. [Cf. I Pet. 3:18 & 22]
I will acknowledge you, O Lord, with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord,
sought out by all who want them.
His work deserves admiration and acclamation,
and his justice endures for ages of ages.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered.
The Lord is merciful and compassionate.
He has given food to those who respect him;
he will remember his covenant forever.
He has published the power of his works to his people,
to give them the inheritance of the nations.
Truth and justice are the work of his hands,
all his commandments are trustworthy,
established forever and ever,
made in truth and integrity.
He provided redemption for his people,
he imposed his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—
good sense for all that act accordingly.
His praise endures for ages of ages.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 20, cont.
Is it a secular person who has arrived? Let him learn from actual experience of things which words failed to convinced him. Provide him with a model and a pattern of frugal sufficiency in matters of food. Let memories of Christian fare linger in his mind, and of a poverty which, because of Christ, gives no cause for shame. If he will not learn this lesson, but adopts an air of disdain, he will not be back. Even beyond that, when we see the wealthy placing the enjoyment of sensual delights in the top tier of blessings, we should grieve deeply for them because they are not aware that, in wasting their whole life in vanity and in making pleasure their god, they have already received their share of blessings in this life and that by living in luxury here they are preparing themselves to burn in the fire reserved for them hereafter. And if the occasion permits, we should not hesitate to tell this to them to their faces. But if we ourselves are prone to the same vice of eagerly seeking—in so far as it lies in our power—the pleasures of the palate and making ostentation our aim, I am afraid we are destroying what we have professed to build and we condemn ourselves by the same behavior for which we judge others.
O God, you raised Jesus from the death he embraced to save us from our sins. Let us share some morsel of his sufferings and death in a willingness to embrace life’s misfortunes and trials with steadfast faith that for a good person everything has a purpose and a good end. May the resurrection of your Son remind us that no matter how tragic a set-back may be, your power can bring life even from a grave. Amen.