Monday, March 10, 2008

1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.

A blessed Clean Monday to all!

For those who don't know, the first day of Lent is called Clean Monday, both because it's the day we clean out our kitchens to get rid of non-Lenten food, and because it follows the wonderfully cleansing Rite of Forgiveness on Sunday night. In Greece, they fly kites on Clean Monday, which I think is a perfect and fitting tradition.

Today's thoughts are from Zenaida.

I actually use this Maxim daily – in addition to number 30 – because they are the two I need the most. After reading them, I go on to add a third one in numerical order. I will comment on the second part: trust God in everything.

All of my life I have struggled with trusting God. It became easier when I turned 50 a decade ago. Until then, when I was anxious, I would say a huge prayer to the Trinity and visually place my anxiety in the Hands of God. Then I would visualize a big neon sign with the word “TRUST,” and finally I would let go. Whenever the anxiety returned to my thoughts, I would see in my mind that word “TRUST!”

As we look back over our lives, we can see how God has ALWAYS provided for us. Nonetheless, we continue to wonder with each new challenge, “Lord, will you help me *this* time?” Of course, He always does! And, so our trust in Him builds. However, even though I have grown tremendously in this area, I still pray this Maxim with intensity each morning and try to remember it whenever I need it throughout each day: trust GOD in EVERYTHING!

Being able to place ourselves (including all our cares for others) entirely in the Hands of God is so freeing!!! It allows us to devote all our energy to living our lives to the praise of His Glory.


Debra Mattingly AACPL said...

I can see God's hand in my life through the years in many ways. We've moved many times (8) in my 30 years of marriage and always we've found jobs, housing, and church in a very short time. I feel truly blessed. I still worry more than I know I should but if I really think about my life, I 'know' God is trustworthy.

Heidi Moore said...

Thank you Zenaida - beautiful post!

I've had many challenges in my adult life - and many times felt that I was up against the wall. Without fail, God has answered my prayers for help whether via a solution to my problem or helping me to cope with my reality. Often, these answers came in a surprising fashion - sometimes taking years before I could see His hand.

By trusting that the Lord knows my needs and what is best for me and my family, I find it much easier to handle the day-to-day troubles and be calm in the face of crisis.

Calise Green said...

I was brought up with so much faith & trust in God all around me, it feels like it has come so naturally to me...and then a trial comes & it brings me back to the real world where I don't know much & I have a lot to work on.

As for the "Be always with Christ" part that is a different story all together...I have so much to learn about being content in my home life & bringing Christ into all of it. I look forward to learning from all of you through this blog!

Emily said...

Well, we all knew Zenaida was wonderful -- she inspired this whole discussion in the first place! :) I remember years ago, when I was struggling with "letting go" of something that was bothering me, she told me to imagine the ocean waves crashing in and pulling slowly back out to sea. It's slow going; it won't happen all at once. You just pray that, with each wave, the worry will slip a little further away from you. That was a good image for me, because it's powerful and peaceful all at once. But I like the neon sign, too!

Calise, I agree that "being with Christ" is difficult to do in the home! It's a sad fact that many times the people we love the most see the worst side of us -- the side that's unguarded and often stressed or angry.

Last night at Forgiveness Vespers I told Sue how touching it was that her children participated willingly in the rite of forgiveness, even to the point of being kissed by teary almost-strangers. She said, "Well, we do this every night at our house, so they're used to it!" I thought what a great tradition that was -- a beautiful way to bring the love of Christ into your family life.

In what other ways do all of you bring Christ into your homes?

jocelyn said...

I worry so much, and get way overly emotional about being able to control my life. I can definitely say that life is easier when I let go and ride the wave. Sometimes, though, it takes me a long time to realize when I'm hanging on to something, figure out the reasons why, and then make peace enough to release it to God's hands.

But it's "be always with Christ," that I really haven't figured out. He has to be in me... not just some Big Brother watching every move with scrutiny.

The Forty Maxims

  • 1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.
  • 2. Pray, fast and do acts of mercy.
  • 3. Read the Scriptures regularly.
  • 4. Read good books, a little at a time.
  • 5. Practice silence, inner and outer.
  • 6. Cultivate communion with the saints.
  • 7. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race.
  • 8. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time.
  • 9. Be honest, first of all with yourself.
  • 10. Be faithful in little things.
  • 11. Do your work, then forget it.
  • 12. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
  • 13. Face reality.
  • 14. Be grateful.
  • 15. Be cheerful.
  • 16. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
  • 17. Never bring unnecessary attention to yourself.
  • 18. Listen when people talk to you.
  • 19. Be awake and attentive, fully present where you are.
  • 20. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
  • 21. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly.
  • 22. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis.
  • 23. Flee carnal things at their first appearance.
  • 24. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur or whine.
  • 25. Don’t seek or expect pity or praise.
  • 26. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
  • 27. Don’t judge anyone for anything.
  • 28. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
  • 29. Don’t defend or justify yourself.
  • 30. Be defined and bound by God, not people.
  • 31. Accept criticism gracefully and test it carefully.
  • 32. Give advice only when asked or when it is your duty.
  • 33. Be strict with yourself.
  • 34. Be merciful with yourself and others.
  • 35. Do nothing for people that they can do for themselves.
  • 36. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
  • 37. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
  • 38. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults serenely, under God’s mercy.
  • 39. When you fall, get up immediately and start over.
  • 40. Get help when you need it, without fear or shame.