Remember: you are a son (daughter) of the Orthodox Church. These are not empty words. Remember to what this obligates you.
Life on earth passes by quickly. You will not notice how swiftly it will pass by. But, it will decide your eternal destiny. Do not forget this for one minute.
Try to live a pious life. Pray to God in church, pray to God at home with reverence, with faith, with a devotion to the will of God. Fulfill the holy and saving precepts of the Church, Her rules and commandments. Outside the Church and outside obedience to Her – there is no salvation.
The gift of the word is a great gift from God. It ennobles a person, it elevates him immeasurably above all other earthly creatures. But how does today's depraved humanity abuse it. Guard this gift and know how to use it in a Christian manner. Do not judge, do not speak aimlessly. Beware of cursing and tempting speech like a fire. Do not forget the words of the Lord, the Savior: "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned..." (Mat. 12:37). Do not allow lies. The Holy Scripture sternly warns that: "The Lord will destroy all them which speak a lie..." (Psalm 5:4).
Love your neighbor as yourself according to the Lord's commandment. Without love there is no Christianity. Remember: Christian love is self-sacrificing, and is not egotistical. Do not miss an opportunity to do the works of love and mercy.
Be modest, pure and chaste in your dealings, words and thoughts. Do not emulate the depraved. Do not use them as an example and stay away from them. Unless necessary, have nothing to do with the unbeliever – unbelief is contagious. Everywhere and always observe modesty and decency; do not become infected with the shameless customs of our days.
Fear and avoid vanity and pride. Pride cast out the highest and most powerful angel from the heavens. Remember: Thou art earth, and to earth you shall return... Greatly humble yourself.
The basic purpose in life – save one's soul for eternity. This should be the main task and concern of your life. Woe to those who destroy their soul through negligence and carelessness.
May the Lord bless you and help you.
Your spiritual father
† Metropolitan Filaret
• TO FIRST PAGE
[П1] From publication in Russian: "Sermons and teachings of His Eminence metropolitan Filaret First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad". Vol. I Issued by the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 1981.
[П2] Copied from site:
[П3] Corrected per publication in Russian: "Prayer Book with Rule for Holy Communion". Publication by The Committee of Russian Orthodox Youth Abroad. New York. 1998.
[П4] Translated into English by Father Deacon A.Kochergin and AM, not associated with the Youth Committee. Revised as per St.John of Kronstadt Press Publication.
[П5] Russian Alphabet: SE-03.
http://www.dorogadomoj.com/ der647fil.html, (I-й вып:01дек07), 10дек07