Daniel…did not yield to fright, for he was ready to become the prey of beasts rather than submit to the decree of the king.

[…] Having returned home, Daniel knelt in prayer in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem, as was his custom.

Let us contemplate the piety of blessed Daniel. Although he seemed to have much work to do for the king, he continued to be faithful to daily prayer, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.

Someone might object: Was it not possible for him to pray to God in the intimacy of his heart during the day, and then, during the night, remain secretly recollected in his home as he desired, and without endangering himself?

Of course, he could have acted in that way, but…the supervisors and the satraps might have said: What is the value of the fear of God, since he is afraid of the king’s edict and is submissive to his commands? And they would have been ready to accuse him of infidelity.

[…] Hence, Daniel did not give his adversaries any ‘pretext’ for de­traction, for whoever submits to a man is that man’s slave.

That is why the blessed Daniel, who had preferred the fear of God and delivered himself to death, was saved from the lions by the angel.

If he had taken the edict into consideration and had remained quiet for thirty days, his faith would not have preserved its purity. No one can serve two masters.

The wily devil exercises his wits to persecute, oppress, bring down the saints, and prevent them from raising their holy hands to God in their prayers.

The devil knows well that the prayer of the saints gives peace to the world and brings chastisements to the wicked, which makes us recall that when Moses in the desert raised his hands, Israel overcame, and when he lowered them, it was Amalek who had the upper hand.

This still takes place for us today. When we stop praying, the adversary is victorious over us; and when we cling to prayer, the power and energy of the Evil One are fruitless.

How powerful are those who trust more in God than in men! Men extinguish all hope and deliver us to death, but God will not abandon his servants.

That is why the psalmist teaches that it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Commentary on Daniel,III, 21-30 (SC 14:242-258); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2.