The Way of Light

The Way of Light is this: if any man wants to journey to his appointed home then he must put his whole heart into his work. To aid our steps on the road, illumination has been given to us as follows — love your Maker, fear your Creator, glorify him who redeemed you from death. Be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Shun the company of those who walk in the way of death. Hate all that is not pleasing to God, hate all hypocrisy, and never desert the commandments of the Lord. Do not proclaim your own importance but keep a modest and humble mind. Do not seek to cover yourself in glory. Make no evil plans against your neighbour. Keep away from the sin of presumption.

Love your neighbor more than your own life. Do not procure abortion, do not commit infanticide. Do not withhold your discipline from your son or your daughter but teach them the fear of God from their childhood onwards. Do not covet your neighbour’s goods or avariciously hold on to your own. Do not cultivate intimacy with the great but keep company with humble and virtuous men. When tribulations come upon you, receive them as you would receive good things, seeing that that nothing happens without God. Do not equivocate or speak in double meanings.

Share your goods with your neighbour and do not insist that they are yours alone — for if you are sharers in that which is incorruptible, how much more must you be sharers in that which is corruptible. Do not be in a hurry to speak, for the tongue is a deadly snare. Keep your soul as pure as you can. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to take, and but keeps them tight shut when it comes to giving. If anyone expounds the word of the Lord to you, love them as the apple of your eye.

Keep the day of judgement in mind, day and night. Seek the daily company of the people of God, either laboring by word of mouth — by going among them, exhorting them and striving to save souls by the word — or labouring with your hands, earning a ransom for your sins.

Do not hesitate to give, and give without grumbling: you will discover who can be generous with his rewards. Keep the commandments you have received, adding nothing and taking nothing away. Hold evil in detestation. Make your decisions fairly and uprightly. Do not cause quarrels, but rather bring together those who are in dispute and reconcile them. Confess your own sins. Do not set about prayer when you have a bad conscience. This is the Way of Light.

Tags:
Barnabas , St.

The ancient letter attributed to St. Barnabas, the apostle, was actually written by an unknown author sometime in the early 2nd century, after the lifetime of the apostles. Nevertheless, it is understood as one of the “apostolic fathers,” that is, one of the orthodox Catholic writings that dates to the generation of those who were immediate disciples of the apostles. As such, it is a valuable witness to the Apostolic Tradition. In particular, the Epistle of Barnabas shows us the way the Church understood the New Testament as the fulfillment of the Old.