This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Tuesday, August 3, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
If we have true reverence for the Lord, let us listen to the voice of his Christ; —for those who walk in the dark
do not have the Light. (Cf. Isaiah 50:10) Come, let us trust in his name and lean upon him!
Have mercy on me, O God; have mercy on me, for my soul trusts in you,
and in the shadow of your wings I will hope until lawlessness passes.
I will cry to God most high, to God who does me good.
He sent from heaven and saved me,
he shamed those who trample me.
God has sent forth his mercy and truth
and rescued my soul from among the lion’s cubs.
I would go to sleep troubled, because these people
have weapons and spears for teeth, and their tongues are sharp swords.
From Saint Basil’s Homily Against Anger, sec. 4.
Why must I say so much? Because such abuse shuts a person out of the kingdom of heaven, “for those who ridicule will not inherit the kingdom of God;” (I Cor. 6:10) but your silence will prepare for the kingdom, “for the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 10:22) But what defense can you make when you take revenge and oppose the abuse by equaling it? Is it enough to say he provoked you? And does that make you worthy of pardon? Is the fornicator who blames the woman for enticing him to sin less deserving of condemnation by that? There are no victories without opponents, no defeats without adversaries. Listen to what David said (Ps. 38:1b&2), “I will set a guard at my mouth when there is a sinner before me” and not “I was provoked,” or “I sought revenge,” but “I was mute and humbled myself, and kept silent for the sake of what is good.”
With all the effort of a soldier in training, teach me to control my tongue, O Lord. Let me keep in mind the words of James (3:2b), “Anyone does not offend in word is perfect and can control his whole body.” Never let me use my words to bless you and then curse those made “in the likeness of God.” (v.9) If I find myself doing that, let me search my heart to find the source of this bitter water. (v. 11) Amen.