This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.

Devotion for Monday, February 20, 2023

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

A person may arrange his thoughts,
But his words depend on the Lord! Prov. 16:1
—Set our minds in peaceful order
    that we may adore you with our words.

The Canticle of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:36-39

The Lord will vindicate his people,
and take revenge for his servants.
When he sees that their strength is spent,
having succumbed in the hostile invasion
and now powerless,
He will say, “Now where are these gods
in whom you trusted?
The fat of whose sacrifices you ate,
the wine of whose libations you drank?
Let them get up and help you
let them be the shield around you!
See that I, I am He—
there is no god except me.
I deal death and give life,
I wound and I heal,
and no one can snatch from my hand.

From Basil’s Work, To the Youth Considered his first publication

If there is any affinity between sacred and profane literature, a knowledge of them both should be useful to us in our search for truth. If not, the comparison—by heightening the contrast—will be of no small service in strengthening our regard for the better one. How may we now compare these two kinds of education by way of a simile? Just as it is the chief purpose of a tree is to bear its fruit in due season, at the same time it puts out leaves that rustle on its branches and serve as ornamentation. Even if the real fruit of the soul is truth, yet it is not useless for it to embrace secular knowledge, just as leaves offer shade and protection to the fruit, as well as ornamentation. Moses, whose very name is synonymous with wisdom, studiously applied his mind to the learning of the Egyptians and thus became able to appreciate their spiritual aspect. Similarly, much later, the wise Daniel is said to have studied the lore of the Chaldeans while in Babylon, and after that to have taken up the sacred teachings.

A Prayer

Truth and insight may be found in unexpected places, O God, so sharpen my mind to be on the alert for it wherever and whenever it shall appear, to gasp it tightly and keep hold of it and use it to gain the high prize of recognizing you and knowing you better. Amen.