St. Barnabas 34. The Letter of Barnabas.
|Letter of Barnabas|
“All hail, you sons and daughters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us in peace. Seeing that the divine fruits of righteousness abound among you, I rejoice exceedingly and above measure in your happy and honored spirits, because you have with such effect received the engrafted spiritual gift. Wherefore also I inwardly rejoice the more, hoping to be saved, because I truly perceive in you the Spirit poured forth from the rich Lord of love.”
The author, perhaps it was Barnabas, perhaps a disciple or another, speaks of seeing “fruits of righteousness,” of them having received “the engrafted spiritual gift,” and that he does “truly perceive in you the Spirit poured forth.”  Wouldn’t that be a blessing to hear that said of us today?
The text interprets great portions of the Old Testament in spiritual, typological, and allegorical ways, showing that all the events and institutions of the OT find their meaning in Christ.  Then it ends by contrasting the way of light with the way of darkness. The letter says the way of light is as follows:
“You shall love Him that created you; you shall glorify Him that redeemed you from death. You shall be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. You shall not join yourself to those who walk in the way of death. You shall hate doing what is unpleasing to God; you shall hate all hypocrisy.
“You shall not forsake the commandments of the Lord. You shall not exalt yourself, but shall be of a lowly mind. You shall not take glory to yourself. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not allow over-boldness to enter into your soul. You shall not commit fornication: you shall not commit adultery: you shall not be a corrupter of youth. You shall not let the word of God issue from your lips with any kind of impurity....
“ You shall be meek; you shall be peaceable.... You shall not be mindful of evil against your brother.... You shall love your neighbor more than your own soul.
“You shall not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shall you destroy it after it is born.... You shall not covet what is your neighbor's, nor shall you be avaricious. You shall not be joined in soul with the haughty, but you shall be reckoned with the righteous and lowly.
“As far as possible, you shall be pure in your soul. Do not be ready to stretch forth your hands to take, while you contract them to give.... You shall confess your sins. You shall not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light.”
We can see these are simple words, based on the Ten Commandments, on Natural Law which every person knows in his conscience, and on Jesus’ teachings.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is located in California City, CA. Visit our website at ollcalcity.org.
Dibby Allan Green has a BA in Religious Studies (Westmont College, 1978) and MA in Theology (Augustine Institute, 2019), is a lay Catholic hermit, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.