Saint Barnabas Apostolate

We strive to live in the Way of Light articulated in a non-canonical letter attributed to Saint Barnabas. And we multiply the effects of our efforts with organization through our Commons, our Constitution and our Ordinary which is approved by our Rector.

We gather in regular prayer using the Anglican Breviary and hold in common a desire to pray the Offices daily and in community at the church when possible. We attend Mass when possible and are active members of the parish community. We assume positions of leadership and ministry within the parish, and provide for the material needs of the parish in support of the Rector.

We are laity from all walks of life, single and married, young and old, who are bound together in common through our faith, our liturgy, our prayer, our work and our desire to live in the Way of Light.

About the Shield of Saint Barnabas

The shield of Saint Barnabas contains elements that represent Barnabas himself as well as symbolism relevant to the Apostolate as a whole.

The colour red. The entire shield is painted red because Saint Barnabas is a red martyr who faced a violent death from persecution due to his Christian faith. Martyrs are Saints who are especially close to Christ not because of their actions alone but because of how their actions brought them physically and spiritually closer to the experience of Jesus Christ. This sharing of suffering because of one’s faith in the Father is described by Saints of all ages as the ultimate expression of fidelity and love of God. The colour red in the shield reminds us of the sacrafice of martyrdom and the constant death to self which Christ calls each and every one of us to. To join Him in carrying the cross and sharing the burden of the faith. We die daily to ourselves and our earthy natures when we engage in regular, daily prayer and work for the church and our community.

The seven-leaf olive branches. Olive branches have long been a symbol attributed to Saint Barnabas and he is known as the peacemaker. Members of the Apostolate model this example of Barnabas in our daily conduct within the church and within our community. We are peacemakers and peace builders first and foremost, within our church and within our local community. The seven leaves have very specific meaning. Seven is a significant number within Christianity and in the case of our shield these seven leaves represent the seven canonical hours which we commit to pray in whole or part, the seven sacraments of the church we share in Common, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit we commit to sharing with one another in service to Christ, the seven deadly sins we ward off through work and toil, the seven days of the week we commit to Christ, the seven days of creation which God Himself sanctioned and sanctified, the seven joys of Mary and the seven sorrows of Mary (which each mark significant moments in the Gospel life of Christ witnessed by the Virgin Mother Mary). The leaves are supported by a large stem which represents Christ and the wood of the cross, both are burden and our support in our Christian journey together.

The SB monogram. This obvious represents Saint Barnabas, the namesake of our Apostolate and our church. This monogram is often used on its own without the shield by the Apostolate and its members.

About Our Motto

ORATA ET OPUS. Our motto reflects our distinct Commons; prayer and work. Orata et opus (pray and work) reflect the action of prayer and work and their fundamental place within our lay organization. They are verbs and not nouns because they are the act of praying and working and not just the material idea or concept of prayer and work. While everything else we hold in Common is incidental to our faith and our formation as a society, the Commons of prayer and work form the backbone of what makes our group unique within the world. It is for that reason that orata et opus is our motto and the foundation of our formation. Work and prayer also set the opening and closing of the non-canonical letter of Saint Barnabas wherein he articulates his vision of the Way of Light. And countless Saints throughout countless ages have professed the fruit of the Spirit that are borne of a life of prayer and work in the name of God.

The Way of Light of Saint Barnabas

The Way of Light is this: if any person wants to journey to their appointed home then they must be zealous in their work.

To aid our steps on the road, illumination has been given to us as follows — love your Maker, fear your Creator, glorify Him who redeemed you from death.

Be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Shun the company of those who walk in the way of death. Hate all that is not pleasing to God, hate all hypocrisy, and never desert the commandments of the Lord. Do not proclaim your own importance but keep a modest and humble mind. Do not seek to cover yourself in glory. Make no evil plans against your neighbour. Keep away from the sin of presumption. 

Love your neighbour more than your own life. Do not procure abortion, and do not commit infanticide. Do not withhold your discipline from your son or your daughter but teach them the fear of God from their childhood onward. Do not covet your neighbour’s goods or avariciously hold on to your own. Do not cultivate intimacy with great people but keep company with humble and virtuous people. When tribulations come upon you, receive them as you would receive good things, seeing that nothing happens without God. Do not equivocate or speak in double meanings. A double tongue is a deadly trap.  

Share your goods with your neighbour and do not insist that they are yours alone — for if you are sharers in that which is incorruptible, how much more must you be sharers in that which is corruptible. Do not be in a hurry to speak, for the tongue is a deadly snare. Be as chaste as you can for the good of your soul. Do not be someone who stretches out their hands to take, and but keeps them tight shut when it comes to giving. If anyone expounds the word of the Lord to you, love them as the apple of your eye.

Keep the day of judgement in mind, day and night. Seek the daily company of the people of God, either labouring by word of mouth — by going among them, exhorting them and striving to save souls by the word — or labouring with your hands, earning a ransom for your sins.

Do not hesitate to give, and give without grumbling: you will discover who can be generous with his rewards. Keep the commandments you have received, adding nothing and taking nothing away. Hold evil in detestation. Make your decisions fairly and uprightly. Do not cause quarrels, but rather bring together those who are in dispute and reconcile them. Confess your own sins. Do not set about prayer when you have a bad conscience.

This is the Way of Light.

Photo by Pedro Lima on Unsplash.