The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, August 2, 2020
Basil the Blessed (1464—1552)
Basil was born to a peasant family near Moscow in the late 1400s. He left home at age sixteen to devote himself to a life of asceticism. He did not have a permanent home but instead walked around barefoot and in rags, exhibiting extraordinary humility in the face of punishment, ridicule, and derision. Like an Old Testament prophet, Basil challenged those in power about their treatment of the poor, marginalized, and afflicted. He foretold misfortunes and preached the gospel to all who would listen, including the Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, who respected and feared Basil’s gift of prophecy. Once, when Basil offered the Tsar a piece of raw meat during the lenten season, the Tsar rejected it. Basil then boldly and truthfully asked him, “Then why do you drink the blood of men?” noting the Tsar’s violent behavior toward innocent people.
British preacher and radical John Wesley wrote in a letter to his sister, “Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart.” Wesley committed his life to living in poverty, insisting that if he were to die with more than a few pounds to his name, he would be a liar and a thief.
God our provider, all good gifts come from you. Make us so thankful for your gifts that we cannot help but share them with others. Own us as your fools as we abandon the stuff of this world for the treasures of your kingdom. Amen.