Written rules of behaviour of an Orthodox Christian

By Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of NY

1. Remember that you are a son or daughter of the Orthodox Church. These are not empty words. Remember where your responsibility lies.

2. The worldly life is transient. You will not even notice as it flies by, but it will determine the eternal fate of your soul. Do not forget this even for a minute.

3. Try to live piously. Pray in Church, pray to God in your home with reverence, faith, and devotion to the Lord’s will. Comply with the sacred and life-saving rules of the Church, Her commandments and regulations. Outside the Church, without obedience to Her, there is NO salvation.

4. The gift of speech is the great Lord’s gift. It makes man noble; it lifts him immeasurably over all the other worldly creations. But how does vulgar humanity misuse it. Keep well this gift and learn how to use speech in a Christian manner. Do not Judge, do not speak in a vain manner. Fear dirty and seducing words like fire. Remember the Lord Saviour’s words: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Math. 12:37) Do not lie. The Holy Scripture threateningly warns: “…and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” (Prov.19:9)

5. As the Lord commanded, love thy neighbor as thyself. Without love there is no Christianity. Remember, Christian love is self-sacrificing and not selfish, Do not let a chance to do a good deed go by.

6. Be modest, clean and chaste in all your deeds, words and thoughts. Do not imitate the depraved, nor follow their example and stay away from them. Do not communicate with an unbeliever without necessity; loss of faith is contagious. Preserve modesty and propriety always and everywhere; do not follow the shameless customs of our days.

7. Avoid vainglory and be afraid of pride. Pride caused the down-fall from heaven of the highest and mightiest of all angels. Remember always you are of earth and to earth you will return. Keep yourself humble.

8. The fundamental task in life is to save the soul for eternity. Let it be your main objective and concern in life. Woe to those who destroy their souls because of negligence and carelessness.

May the Lord bless you and help you.
Your spiritual father.