St. Basil the Great reposed on this day in the year 379. He was only 49 years old, but had accomplished a great deal of benefit for the church and the world, so that some called him “a renowned and bright star.” You can read about his blessed life here. “Philosopher, philologist, orator, jurist, naturalist, possessing profound knowledge in astronomy, mathematics and medicine, ‘he was a ship fully laden with learning, to the extent permitted by human nature.'” But on this festival day I offer a simple admonition from him:
When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.
–St. Basil the Great
(Icon from St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev)