This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, December 4, 2022
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Show respect before the Lord God,
for the Day of the Lord is near.
For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,
and has sanctified his guests. (Zephaniah 1:7)
–O come, let us adore him.
My soul clings to the ground,
revive me as you promised.
I spoke of my ways and you responded,
teach me your precepts.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
that I might realize your wonders.
My soul droops with depression,
raise me as you promised.
Keep me from the path of deception,
and by your law show me favor.
I have chosen the path of fidelity,
I treasure your judgments.
I hold fast to your dictates,
O Lord, do not shame me.
I will run the course of your commandments
because you have stretched my heart.
A reading from Basil’s, On the Human Condition
The Apostle Paul says, “Though our outward humanity is in decay, day by day our inner nature is made new.” [2 Cor. 4:16] How? We can speak of two “people,” one is an individual’s physical characteristics, and the other is invisible, hidden within this sensible perception, a character or personality. This means we are somehow dual, but we can say that “what we are” is this inner human. What I am is this internal human being, while the outer aspect is not me, but mine. I am not my hand, but “I” am the rational part of the psyche, and the hand is a limb of the human being. That makes the body an instrument of the human being, an instrument of the mind. The essence of a person, an individual, is this inner aspect. When God says, “Let us make the human being according to our image,” it means “let us give a person the superiority of reason.”
A Prayer from St. John Damascus’ Statement of Faith.
O Lord, you brought me as a naked baby into the light of day, for nature’s ways always obey your commands. By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, you prepared my creation and my existence, not because people wanted it or flesh desired it, but by your ineffable grace. The birth you prepared for me was such that it surpassed the laws of our nature. You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as your child and you enrolled me among the children of your holy Church. You nursed me with the spiritual milk of your divine utterances. Lead me to pasture, Lord, and graze there with me. Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left, but let your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accord with your will, now and until the end. Amen!
Note: John of Damascus (d. c. 750) is remembered today both in East and West.