This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Wednesday, May 5, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Come to Jesus, the living stone,
rejected by people but precious to God.
—And we are now being built into a temple
in which we shall offer spiritual sacrifices to God. [Cf. I Pet 2:4-5]
Your name is eternal, O Lord,
remembered from generation to generation.
Since the Lord will judge his people,
he will be satisfied with his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have a mouth but do not speak.
They have eyes but do not see.
They have ears but do not hear,
for there is no breath in their mouth.
Let those who make them become like them,
and all who trust in them.
House of Israel, bless the Lord.
House of Aaron, bless the Lord.
House of Levi, bless the Lord.
You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
In Zion the Lord is blessed—
for he dwells in Jerusalem.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 22, cont.
A distinctive dress is also good for signaling our embrace of the devout life. As a consequence of it, others we meet expect us to behave in a certain way. The standard for the average person is not the same for those who set their sights higher. Many would turn a blind eye to people loitering in the street, using obscene language, pushing each other, and such unseemly actions. This kind of behavior is tolerated as being the way things are in the streets. On the other hand, everyone will notice someone who has taken a vow to strive for perfection if he violates the least aspect of his commitment, and call him out for it loudly. A style of clothing that betokens one’s profession serves as a kind of pedagogue, as it were, for the weak, to restrain them—even against their will—from behaving improperly. One uniform identifies the soldier, another a senator, or some other high position, so it is right and proper that there be some mark to identify a Christian so that even his clothing betokens the good order of which Paul spoke. All of this applies, as well, to shoes. At all times, a style that is simple, easy to obtain, and serviceable should be preferred.
Heavenly Father, dispose us to live in the world as though we truly believe our citizenship is ahead of us, with you. Let us do all that a good citizen of an earthly country does, but do so as an exile would. Let us live our physical lives without being dominated by the desires of our flesh. May we pass our days upon the earth ever mindful that we are citizens of heaven. Let us be obedient to all lawful authority on earth, but let us live in such a way that we transcend the laws of earth. Amen. [Adapted from the letter to Diognetus.]