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

Devotion for Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

Angels came to serve Christ upon his victory.
-Let us serve him in their company
and praise and bless him forever!Cf. Matt 4:11

Psalm 17/18:33-39

God girds me with strength
and has made my course blameless,
conditioning my feet like a deer’s
and setting me on the heights;
training my hands for combat,
making my arms like a bronze bow.

You provided protection to keep me safe.
Your right hand has helped me.
Right to the end your training has helped me,
yes, the discipline that you taught me.

You have cleared the way for me to pounce
and my strides never failed.
I will pursue my enemies and overtake them,
and I will not relent until they are wiped out.
I will smash them so they never get up,
they will fall under my feet.

A reading adapted from Basil’s, Homily on Proverbs 1;1-5

So what more need be added? He says, “to make the innocent shrewd, the youth perceptive and insightful.” Now we can understand innocence in two ways, the first being to forego sin through reason. After practicing virtue for a long time so that we uproot wickedness from ourselves, we arrive at innocence. The other kind of innocence is never having had an experience of evil. For example, children do not know arrogance. People from rural areas may not know the bad practices of commerce, nor the corruption of the law courts. Such people have not made a choice to keep themselves from evil, they have simply had no experience of a wicked state of mind. Real innocence is characterized, then, by simplicity in behavior, high-mindedness, and a lack of affectation.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus, you who read all hearts and know all secrets, and who will render the ultimate assessment of our lives, send your Spirit to cultivate innocence in me. Let me never loiter with temptation. Let me avoid anything that might endanger my relationship with you and undermine my pursuit of authentic innocence. Let me be modest, self-effacing, and kindly. Let me listen to my better angels, and conduct myself in a manner worthy of your company with those blessed spirits.