This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, November 25, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer (PsSol 5:1&18)
Among those who understand your righteous judgments
I will praise your name with joy, O Lord God.
—And may good things make those who fear the Lord happy,
and may your kindness be upon Israel in your kingdom.
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 live in.
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.
A letter from Basil to Makarios and John, #18.
The ploughman is not surprised to see laborers in the field; sailors are not astonished if they encounter a storm at sea. Sweat in the summer heat is the common experience of the hired hand; and to those who have chosen to live a holy life, the afflictions of this present world should come as no surprise. Each and all of these do the usual and specific work of their callings, not chosen for its own sake, but for the sake of enjoying the good things that come from it and to which they look forward. In each of these cases, the consolation in difficulty is something which really forms the bond and link of all human life—hope. Now those who labor for the fruits of the earth, or for earthly things, enjoy some only by imagining what they have looked forward to, only to be completely disappointed. And even in the case of others, where the results matched expectations, some other hope is soon needed, so quickly has the first fled and faded from view.
O Eternal Beauty, as you once told the little poor man to rebuild your house, help us to do so, too. And may your house stand on the foundations of a spiritual Sinai and Moriah, our hearts swept clean so that zeal and love might fill them like the cherubim before your glory. For you are perfectly beautiful, the joy of all the earth, and you made us to be your image and likeness. Amen.