Rule for Christian Living

St. Basil the Great, The Morals

Original rewrite based translation of Sr. M. Monica Wagner, Catholic University Press, ©1950

  1. That they who believe in the Lord must first repent according to the preaching of John and of the our Lord Himself; those who do not repent in this age will be subject to judgment greater than those who were ignorant of the Gospel.
  2. One engaged in barbarian piety cannot serve God.
  3. As said the Lord: The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all one's heart; the second commandment is to love one's neighbor as oneself.
  4. God is glorified by doing His will; transgressors dishonor Love.
  5. Be at peace with every person, love your enemy, lay down your life for your friend if required, for so Christ God loved us.
  6. Confess Christ without shame, His doctrine without fear.
  7. Confession without obedience is condemned as hypocrisy, even when the economy of the God has granted spiritual gifts.
  8. Belief that all things are possible with God, that His Word is Truth, is the test of faith, even if nature rebels.
  9. Do not be negligent but obediently attentive to the will of God, doing it with understanding.
  10. The way of sin is death.
  11. Do not presume mercy, rather fear the judgment of God.
  12. Piety is inimical contradiction, rather, submit to the Lord in all things.
  13. Do the work of God with sober-minded zeal, beware of the demon of slothfulness.
  14. Avoid distraction, do everything at its appointed time.
  15. Be attentive to your own work, do not rest on the labors of others.
  16. Without striving for one's own perfection, sharing life with those who are God-pleasing is of no benefit.
  17. In everything, conduct yourself with awareness of the present age, the sign of which is revealed in Scripture.
  18. Execute the commandments of God in both thought and deed, lest one be subject to judgment.
  19. Do the will of God with firmness and single-minded obedience, without consideration for own reasoning, unhindered by family attachments.
  20. Baptism is for every believer, do it, use the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  21. Reception of Christ's Body and Blood is necessary for eternal life.
  22. Sinful acts estranges us from the Lord, uniting us with the evil one.
  23. Being conquered in the fight against one sin is a consequence of voluntary enslavement to a prior sin.
  24. In everything, speak the truth and do not lie.
  25. Neither speak without purpose nor engage in controversy.
  26. Use the testimony of Holy Writings to test the goodness of every word and deed, exposing the shame of the wicked.
  27. Use your gifts to imitate God and the holy ones and not those hostile to the precepts taught by the Master.
  28. Use the Holy Writings to soberly evaluate the truthfulness of those who claim to teach
  29. Offer deeds as evidence of ministry.
  30. Do not mix things consecrated to God with those that are mundane.
  31. Reserve that consecrated to God for the service of God.
  32. Dutifully render service due others.
  33. Do not cause scandal.
  34. Be an exemplar of the good, yet live in accord one's station in life.
  35. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to not attribute the ability to lead a pious life to the Holy Spirit.
  36. Honor as the Lord Himself those faithful to His teachings, those inhospitable are liable to judgment.
  37. The very smallest service is service acceptable to God.
  38. Provide hospitality to the brethren, modestly and without pretence.
  39. Be single-minded and steadfast in the faith, be cleaved to the Lord's goodness.
  40. Let inventors of false doctrines intent upon leading others astray be anathema, give no regard to their cleverness.
  41. Abolish any cause of any scandal, unequivocally quash it.
  42. Understand: Christ perfected the Law and Prophets, not destroy them.
  43. The Law prohibits behavior, the Gospel, vices in the soul.
  44. Submission to Christ's yoke is sweet, unburdening the soul; alienation from the Gospel's teaching a heavy burden.
  45. Imitate the equality found among children, not doing so is to be unworthy of the kingdom of heaven.
  46. Let zeal be proportional to the matter at hand.
  47. Store treasure in heaven, regard relief out of earthly wealth as saving for the future.
  48. Practice compassion and generosity.
  49. Never engage in legal disputes, it is better to be naked.
  50. Practice peace and in peace others will follow.
  51. Correct every fault of your own before investigating those of others.
  52. Mourn for sinners.
  53. Forgive quickly, begrudge none, do not take offence.
  54. Judge nothing permitted by Scripture.
  55. Suffering, patient endurance, and each good thing, is gift of God.
  56. Persevere in vigil and prayer.
  57. Disdain no one, but disregard your own labors.
  58. The gifts of God cannot be acquired by trade.
  59. Shun flattery, reprove flatters.
  60. Be content one's own gifts and be thankful for, and do not discourage, others in their gifts: love one another as members of the one Body of Christ.
  61. Accepting those who minister, give allowance for their humility.
  62. Immediately from baptism be prepared for temptations, trials, and tribulations, even from friends and family.
  63. Fear not, trust God: taking courage from the Master, and be instructed by the Holy Spirit.
  64. Rejoice in suffering in the Name, even to death.
  65. Cry-out to God, even at the point of death.
  66. Pray for those who stand witness for the faith.
  67. Pray for the peace of the reposed awaiting the resurrection.
  68. Understand the life in the resurrection to be free of want and not continuation of things unique to this life.
  69. Take heed not to commit any defiling deed or hypocrisy, rather practice and pursue that which blessed, doing nothing contrary to the commandments of God.
  70. Those sent to preach have responsibility for the well-ordering of faithful laborers as priests and deacons.
  71. Bishops, priests, and deacons are to be blamess before the world in their manner of living.
  72. Those who hear what is preached must test it for conformity with Holy Tradition.
  73. Husbands and wives cleave to each other, offering devout service to God, absenting adultery.
  74. Widows be zealous in imitation of Dorcas, doing good works: labor as much as health allows.
  75. Bond-servants practice obedience, do not violate the commands of God and the will of you masters in the flesh.
  76. Children be obedient to your parents, honoring them by living according to the command of God.
  77. Virgins be dedicated, both in mind and body, giving thanks to God and expectation of the kingdom of heaven, and being free from cares for this world.
  78. Soldiers neither do works of violence nor make false accusations.
  79. Rulers be custodians of God's ordinances.
  80. Christians conform to the example and word of disciples Christ, live in accordance with Scripture.