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

Devotion for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

Let us hear the call of history
and the invitation of faith
—to worship and praise the Lord of both,
    and to find joy in adoring him.

The Canticle of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:40-43

Look! I raise my hand to heaven and swear,
“As I live forever—when I whet my flashing blade,
and my hand takes hold of judgment,
I will wreak vengeance on my enemies
and pay back those who hate me.
I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword will devour flesh—
the blood of the wounded and the captive,
from the heads of the enemy’s chiefs.

Rejoice with (the Lord), you heavens!
Let all the angels of God worship him!
Rejoice with his people, you nations,
and let all the children of God find strength in him,
for he will avenge the blood of his children
and wreak havoc in repaying those who hate him.
He will purify the land of his people.

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

Since we need to attain the life to come through virtue, our attention should be fastened chiefly upon those many passages from the poets, the historians, and especially from the philosophers, which praises virtue. For it is no small advantage for a youth to make a habit of virtue. The lessons of youth make a deeper impression because the mind is more susceptible then, and they are more likely to be indelible. If not to incite youth to virtue, what other purpose did Hesiod have in those universally admired lines, “Rough is the start and hard, steep the way, full of labor and pain that leads toward virtue. Because of the steepness not every man is motivated to set out; nor having set out, easily to reach the summit. But when he has reached the top, he sees that the way is smooth and fair, easy and light of step, and more pleasing than the other which leads to wickedness.”

Now it seems to me that he had no other purpose in saying these things than to exhort us to virtue, to incite us to bravery, that we may not abandon our efforts before we reach the goal. And certainly if anyone else praises virtue in a like manner, we will receive his words with pleasure since we have the same aim.

A Prayer

May your Spirit, O God, point me to the true and the good, and teach me to appreciate what is true and good regardless of the environment in which I come upon them, in clutter and decay or in order and well maintained, whether young or old, well-dressed or in rags, whether well received or not. Amen.