Daily Devotion for July 26, 2021
Francis of Assisi is synonymous with the abandonment of wealth to follow Christ. This early masterpiece by van Eyck shows St. Francis at his most extreme asceticism, when he would not even wear sandals.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
An inspiring start to our week from the contemporary group “All Sons and Daughters.”
You give life, You are love,
You bring light to the darkness.
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken.
Great are You, Lord.
It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise,
We pour out our praise.
It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise to You only.
All the earth will shout Your praise,
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing,
Great are You, Lord.
For God’s Blessing
O marvelous God, who is my light, my life, and my salvation; Grant to me, I pray, such fullness of faith and such a consciousness of your love and goodness, that your blessed Spirit, dwelling within me, may give me health of body, peace of mind, faithfulness of heart, and holiness of life and being; through the mercies and merits of the same, my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Humility
Heavenly Father, who sent your Son to ride on an ass and to work as a simple carpenter: if you so humbled yourself to save me, how can I puff myself up with pride above others? Let me follow Christ’s example, never to inflate myself with pride of status, of opinion, or of any of the gifts you have bestowed upon me.
Give me the grace to realize my ignorance, admit my mistakes, recognize my needs. Let me welcome good advice and sound rebuke, without defensiveness. Grant me always to praise rather than criticize, sympathize rather than discourage, build rather than destroy, and when I am angry at the ignorance of another, to recall my own ignorance and remember that we are all your beloved children. Let my hope and glory be ever in you, and not in my own vanity. This I ask in Christ’s sake,
Christ said, “I am the Truth”; He did not say “I am the Custom.”
And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me, and that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Proverbs 4:18-19 (NKJV)
The path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13 (ESV)
The Gifts of the Spirit
ow there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are brought by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Notes on the Scripture
We have often studied the Holy Spirit as the source of our knowledge of God — the internal gift of the Spirit. Today's passage emphasizes the role of the Spirit in shaping our external lives, especially the ways in which we contribute to Christ's church.
Our various roles in life are often given to us, or imposed upon us. Or we might feel as if we stumble upon them; we see a need and fill it. Or we might have a talent or knowledge which is needed. This is slightly different from “the American dream,” which teaches us to set goals consciously and then seek to achieve them. People, we learn, are responsible for themselves. If we see a poor or dirty person, at least a part of us sees a person who could improve himself if he would just try. And it may or may not be true.
But although service to Christ is similar in many ways, there are also differences. In fact, some of the people with the greatest callings live in a manner that would appall us. When we see others who are not achieving everything in this life that we think they could, it is always good to consider the life of John the Baptist, or St. Francis of Assisi, or someone similar. For there have been many people who, for their love of God became less or lived lives more lowly than they would have, if they had more ambition to succeed in the material world.
Formal monasticism has largely disappeared from the world, yet we still see Christ’s servants as different from one another as an eye from a toenail. But just as God counts every hair on our heads, He counts every servant in the body of Christ’s church. Do I think the guy passing the collection plate is an arrogant rich jerk? Do I fail to notice the lady back in the kitchen washing dishes after a church supper? They are both serving Christ.