Saturday, March 22, 2008

13. Face reality.

Here is Calise from California, with some exciting news . . .

Hello Ladies! Let me first say it has been such a blessing to be able to connect with all of you through this discussion.

We miss you all terribly! Let me tell you all as well that I am pregnant with our 3rd & I have been sick as a dog! So please pray for us!

As I started to ponder this maxim the first thing that came to mind was Confession. I feel like preparing for my first confession was the first time I really stood back & faced the reality of what my life had been & there were a lot of things that I didn't like. Ever since then, confession has helped me to have more regular "reality checks".

Father Thomas Hopko says..."face reality, don't live in fantasy. There's a Russian saying, 'God is everywhere except in imagination & fantasy'; face the realities of your life."

I have of late been thinking about the consequences of living in a fantasy world. My father is an alcoholic. Alcoholics tend to form their own fantasy worlds where they are the victims. This helps them to live with their decisions & to justify their actions; otherwise, how do you live with yourself?

That scares the living daylights out of me; after having lived as part of his fantasy world for over 30 years, I am only now beginning to come to grips with the awful ramifications it has on the people around you. I don't want to be the victim. I want to fully engage in my own reality & that of others.

Facing reality doesn't only mean the bad stuff; it also means the good. We are called to be grateful for what God has given us & to be good stewards of our own realities!
I want to be a Christian, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor & a human being who not only faces my own reality & is daily acknowledging the good and combatting the bad, but I want to encourage all of those people in my life who are a part of my reality.

It seems to me the only way to truly face our own realities is through God's employing all these previous maxims.

So I pray as we all read these blogs & continue this discussion that God would reveal the ugliness & beauty in our own realities & give us the strength & humility to face it all!

God bless all of you in this blessed season of Lent!


Laura said...

congratulations on the new baby!

I don't know that I have anything to add to your wonderful thoughts...they are very timely in my life right now.

Janet said...

Congratulations! We will pray for you, Calise, and the precious child you bear.

Your words, as well as those that others have written, are good reminders that I need God's grace to face reality, pray regularly, do the hardest things first, and the other maxims we've heard thus far. Thanks for sharing.----Janet

Anonymous said...

From Em.
Calise, thank you so much for reminding me that facing reality also means the recognition of good things too. "Face reality" is said so often with negativity (and oppression.) But I like the idea of "face reality" with a lightness and joy.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Calise, it's Deborah. I hope the doggie moments have subsided -- we're very happy to hear about Little Green III! Had to let you know that Amelia turned to me right during Liturgy a couple Sundays ago and said out of the blue, "I bet Elijah and Theodore are 3 and 4 now and are talking a lot!" She may not have gotten the ages quite right, but she's apparently got some nice ongoing memories of your little guys!

Thanks for your helpful words. -- Deborah

Anonymous said...

Beautifully thought out and written, my dear Calise! We do have the grace and strength to walk out the reality...because Christ is Risen...alive and working in the midst of it all. Hallelujah! Much love, Mama

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.