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

Devotion for Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

Enflame our senses from above,
and fill our hearts with mighty love.
—For patience firm and virtue high,
your strength to our weak flesh supply.

Psalm 138/139:19-24

Oh, that you would kill sinners, O God.
Murderous people, get away from me—
for this is their conspiracy,
to reduce your cities to ruin.

Have I not hated those who hate you, O Lord?
And did I not become their bitter enemy?
Did I not muster all my strength against them?
I will hate them completely,
and count them my enemies.

Examine me, O God,
inspect me and see my ways,
and see if there is any path to iniquity in me,
and guide me on the eternal path.

From Basil’s On the Holy Spirit, in chapter 16

When we speak of the plans made for humanity by our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who would deny that they were accomplished through the grace of the Spirit? When you wish to examine the ancient evidence—the blessings of the patriarchs, the grace given through the Torah, the symbols, the prophecies, the courageous victories in battle, the signs wrought by just people—or, on the other hand, those things accomplished with the coming of the Lord in the flesh—all is done through the Spirit. In the first instance the Spirit was an unction, and was inseparably present with the flesh of the Lord, and thus it was recorded, “the one upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining,” is “my beloved Son;” and “Jesus of Nazareth,” whom “God had anointed with the Holy Spirit.” It was present when the Lord was being tempted by the devil, for it is said, “Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tested.” It was inseparably with him while doing his wonderful deeds, because he said, “If I cast our devils by the Spirit of God.” And the Spirit did not leave him when he rose from the dead, for in renewing humanity—and by breathing on the face of the disciples to restore the grace that had come from the breath of God and which humanity had lost—what did the Lord say? Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall remit are remitted, and whose sins you shall retain are retained.”

A Prayer

Lord Jesus, pour upon us more of your Holy Spirit and its plentiful gifts, that Spirit which you promised to send us from the Father, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding which orientates us to you, O Blessed Trinity, the Spirit that lifts us upon its wings above all the various things that point to you and allows us to see them united together in faith, that deep trust that gives us unique and empowering confidence in you. Amen.