This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, February 19, 2023
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
A heavy heart leads to a depressed mood,
but a joyful heart shows on a happy face. Cf. Prov. 15:13
—Lighten our hearts by increasing our faith,
and may our prayer be a joy for you and us.
The Canticle of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:28-35
They are a stupid people, lacking all sense.
If they were smart they would think about it,
and gain some insight for the future.
“How could one route a thousand,
or two route ten thousand,
unless their Rock had sold them out
or given them up?”
For their “rock” is not like our Rock,
and our enemies are fools.
Their vine is from Sodom,
their stock from Gomorrah.
Their cluster is a bunch of bile,
a bitter cluster for them.
Their wine is the venom of asps,
and the deadly poison of vipers.
See, I have gathered all this and locked it all up,
safely stored away in my vault.
On a day of retribution I will pay it back,
at a time when they stumble
because the day of destruction is near
and what has been prepared for you is at hand.
From Basil’s Work, To the Youth Considered his first publication
The Holy Scriptures, which teach us through divine words, lead us into eternal life. But as long as our immaturity prevents us understanding their deeper thoughts, we train our spiritual investigations on profane writings. They are not completely different, so in a sense we can perceive truth as it were in shadows and reflections. We imitate those who do military exercises to practice. They develop skill in gymnastics and dancing and then, in battle, reap the reward of their training. We must believe that the greatest of all battles lies ahead of us, and we must do and endure everything to gain strength in preparing for it. And so we must be conversant with poets, with historians, with orators—indeed with all who may further our soul’s salvation. Just as dyers prepare the cloth before they apply the dye—whether it is purple or any other color—so we must also, if we want to preserve indelible the ideal of true virtue. First initiated in the secular, then—in due time—we can give our attention to the sacred and divine teachings, just as we first accustom ourselves to the sun’s reflection in water, and later become capable to turning our eyes upon the very sun itself.
Prepare my mind and heart for the dye you choose, whether it be the dark hues of trouble or distress, or the brilliant colors of success and achievement. Let me be confident in the justice and fitness of your Providence, O God, so that I may walk without undue anxiety and bless you for everything. Amen.