This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, August 27, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
There are those with skill in their hands,
each one expert at a craft.
—Without them there is no city to dwell in,
and they make a living wherever they go.
So let us thank God with praise! (Sirach 38:31-32)
Let them acknowledge the Lord for his mercy
and his marvels for the human race.
Let them exalt him in the gathering of the people,
and praise him at the session of the elders.
He turned rivers into deserts
and streams of water into dry ground,
a fruitful land into a salt flat
for the wickedness of those who lived there.
He turned the desert into pools of water,
and arid land into streams of water.
He settled the hungry to live there,
and they built cities to inhabit.
They sowed the fields and planted vineyards,
and produce a harvest of crops.
He blessed them and they increased greatly,
and their cattle did not diminish.
From Basil’s Long Rules, question 55:
Now, just because some sinners do not use the medical arts in a good way, should we repudiate all the advantages to be derived from them? We should not dismiss out of hand all such things simply because some indulgent hedonists abuse the art of cooking, or baking, or weaving, for adding to their own pleasure by going beyond the bounds of simple necessity. On the contrary, the abuse of these arts should be made evident by our proper use of them. In the same way with the medical arts, we ought not commit an outrage against a gift of God by putting it to bad use. To put the hope of one’s health in the hands of the doctor is the act of an irrational animal. This is, nevertheless, what we see in the case of certain unhappy people who have no qualms about calling their doctors their saviors. But to completely reject the benefits to be had from this art is the sign of a very cynical person indeed.
“What a great variety in your works, O Lord; with wisdom you made them all.” Help me to appreciate all the various people who share this earth with me, and all the marvelous things they do, often bringing great beauty to the simplest objects of daily life, making music and art and literature. You express yourself through them, and I should never dismiss them simply because I do not share their tastes or because I cannot speak the language of their hearts. To appreciate the good achievements of others is to appreciate you, and to appreciate you is the fresh descent of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this favor and grace. Amen.