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

Devotion for Friday, July 16, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

Dailiy Devotion image

July 12

On this day in 1191, the forces of the Third Crusade, led by Richard the Lion-hearted and Philip of France, retook the city of Acre, and Saladin agreed to return the relics of the Holy Cross.

An Invitation to Prayer

God blesses one who is cheerful in giving,
who shares his bread with the poor.
—The one with compassion for the poor will be fed

because he gave his own food to the needy. ​(Prov. 22:8&9)

Come, let us seek the Living Bread from heaven! ​(John 6:51)

Psalm 70(71):19-24

How many terrible afflictions have you imposed on me, but you turned and restored me,
and brought me back up from the bowels of the earth.

You have broadened you justice,
you have turned and comforted me,
and brought me back up from the bowels of the earth.

And so I will acknowledge you with a song for your truth, O God. I will sing to you with my harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will rejoice when I sing to you,
as will my soul which you have redeemed.

Even more, my tongue will rehearse your justice all day long when those who seek my life are shamed and confounded.

From St. Basil’s Homily on Humility, sec. 4.
Tell me then, why are you so vain as if the good things you have are your doing, instead of giving thanks to the one who gave them to you? For “what do you have that has not been given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as though you did not receive it?” (I Cor. 4:7) You have not come to know God through your righteousness, but God has come to know you through his kindness. Paul writes, “You have come to know God, or rather, you have come to be known by God.” (Gal. 4:9) You have not embraced Christ through your virtue, but Christ has embraced you through his coming. Again, Paul says, “I press on so that I may take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Phil. 3:12) The Lord said, “You did not choose me, I have chosen you.” (John 15:16) Is it because you have been honored that you think so highly of yourself and accept these acts of mercy as an occasion for pride? In that case, get to know yourself. Realize who you are: Adam banished from Paradise, Saul abandoned by the Spirit of God, Israel broken off from the holy root. Paul says, “You have stood by faith. Do not be so conceited, but be afraid.” (Rom. 11:20)

A Prayer

Holy Lord, it is just as right for me to know my deficits as well as my gifts, my shortcomings as well as my strengths. Perhaps even more so. Help me realize that a sincere and accurate humility is as beneficial to my ultimate well being as any other gift you might bestow upon me, for by a true humility I may direct my life in such a way as to improve and find even greater favor with you. A false humility, a self-effacing posture in refusing a compliment, on the other hand, is simply a sense of superiority masquerading as virtue, and so a lie. Lead me on the way, for you are truth, and I shall then find the fullness of life. Amen.