This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, August 26, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Give the doctor his place lest he leave,
and you need him, too.
—There are times when he holds the advantage—
when he beseeches God!
So let us thank God with praise! (Sirach 38:12-14)
You visited the earth and drenched it,
enriching it over and over.
The river of God is filled with water,
and this is how you provide food.
You drench the (earth’s) furrows,
and increase its crops.
The crop that sprouts is glad for the rain!
In your goodness you will bless the crown of the year,
and the plains will be fruitful.
The mountains in the wild will be lush,
and the hills will be glad.
The rams of the flock are wooly,
the valleys are mantled with grain.
They shout. They sing a hymn!
From Basil’s Long Rules, question 55:
As it is essential in the care of the body that we eliminate from it all that is alien to it and also make up for any deficiencies, so similarly with the care of the soul we should eliminate what is not natural to it and embrace what is proper to its nature because, “God made humanity well” (Eccles. 7:30), and he created us for good works so that we might walk in them. Moreover, when we use the medical arts we submit to surgery, cauterizing, and taking bitter medicines to cure our body, so in caring for our souls must heal them by accepting the cut of correction and the bitter medicine of making amends. The Prophets give this warning to those who have not accepted their warning, “Is there no balm in Gilead, no physician there? Then why hasn’t the health of the city of my people improved?” (Jerem. 8:22) The fact that chronic illnesses persist for a long time despite painful and different remedies is also true in caring for our souls. We need to remedy the sins of our souls by assiduous prayer and prolonged penance, and rehabilitation by arduous discipline, which reason may prescribe as adequate for providing a cure.
We know you will show mercy to whom you wish to show mercy, and pity on whom you wish to pity. (Exodus 33:20) In your unfathomable generosity you bestow wonderful gifts on people who do not know you, and on some who have even turned from you. But you will not go back on your word, nor take back a gift. Help me to understand and appreciate this when I see people who make no place for you in their lives yet are blessed with noteworthy talents and skills, and the devout devoid of such favors to appreciate you, and to appreciate you is the fresh descent of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this favor and grace. Amen.