Patriarch Jeremiah II: Have You Cleansed Your Mind with the Correct Faith?

Feast of the Martyr Eudocia

Jeremias_II_Square.jpegJUST AS the all-embracing virtues are seven in number: humility, modesty, poverty, fasting, chastity, patience, and forbearance, so also the opposite vices are seven in number: pride, ambition, greed, gluttony, fornication, sloth, and anger. The most sacred symbol dissuades from the vices and urges one on to the virtues. Humility is aroused by the descent of God, the Logos, from the heavens; modesty, by the Incarnation; poverty, fasting, and purity, in that He was like that; patience and forbearance because He had all these, and finally endured the cross and death. The Savior abolished every iniquity. By humility, He abolished pride from which comes unbelief and blasphemy against God. By lowliness, He abolished ambition from which are engendered madness, envy, and murder. By poverty, He abolished greed from which come stealing, deceit, lying, and treachery against God and fellowmen. By fasting, He abolished gluttony, the source of drunkenness, prodigality, disorder, and every evil passion. By virginity, He abolished fornication, the source of every defilement and departure from the holy God. By patience, He abolished sloth and meanness of spirit, the source of hopelessness, ingratitude, confusion of mind, and despair of soul. And finally, by forbearance, He destroyed anger and demonic madness against His fellowman, the source of fury, wrath, hostility, hate, and murder, which refute the highest and chief virtues of hope, faith, and love. These three are in honor of the Trinity and completely unite the person who has them with the Triune God, and through grace they constitute God. Therefore, brethren, let us also cleanse our mind with the correct faith; and having purified ourselves by the virtues, primarily the general ones of courage, temperance, justice, and prudence, which also encompass the rest, let us become as far as possible impervious to evil. Let us live wholly according to Christ, conducting ourselves in the true faith in Christ and His life. Let us love Christ and fulfill His commandments. Let us become temples of Christ, a sweet-smelling savor, and His holy ones, so that we may attain eternal life and glory and the kingdom of Christ eternally through His grace, and not only by our works of righteousness, but according to His unfailing promise.

~Patriarch Jeremiah II, First Answer Concerning the Augsburg Confession Sent to Tübingen, May 15, 1576

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