Let us put on the armor of righteousness

Bishop, Apostolic Church Father and Martyr

An excerpt from the Leter to the Philippains

ORDINARY TIME, Week 26: Monday

It is not out of presumption that I write to you, my brothers, on what righteousness means, but rather because you asked me to do so. For neither I nor anyone like me can equal the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul. When he was in your city, he fully and courageously taught the men of that time the word of truth; when he was absent, he wrote you letters. By carefully studying these letters, you can strengthen yourselves in the faith that has been given to you. This faith is the mother of us all, followed by hope, preceded by love—love of God, of Christ, of our neighbor. Whoever lives within this framework has fulfilled the commandment of righteousness. For anyone who has love is far from sin.

Now the source of all evil is the desire to possess. Mindful that we brought nothing into this world and can take nothing out of it, let us put on the armor of righteousness. We must begin by teaching ourselves how to walk in the commandment of the Lord. Then you should teach your wives to walk in the faith that has been handed down to them, in love and in chastity. They must love their husbands with complete fidelity, but they must cherish all others equally, and with self-control; they must raise their children in the discipline that comes from fear of God. We must teach widows to be discreet in all that concerns the faith of the Lord; they must pray without ceasing for all men, shunning all calumny, gossip, false witness, greed, in a word, every sort of evil. They must bear in mind that they are God’s sacrificial altar. He sees everything clearly, nothing escapes his vigilance, be it calculation, thought or some secret desire of the heart.

God, as we know, is not mocked. Let us walk in a way that is worthy of his commands and his purposes. Deacons, in the same way, must be blameless in the sight of his goodness, for they are servants of God and of Christ, not of men. They must avoid calumny, hypocritical talk and greed. Merciful and diligent, they must control all their desires, walking according to the truth of the Lord who became the servant of all. If we please him in this life, we shall receive the life to come; for he has promised us that he will raise us from the dead, and that, if we lead lives worthy of him, we shall reign along with him. This is what our faith tells us.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen