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.
Monday, March 10, 2008
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.