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 grace...by 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!
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.