Wednesday, April 2, 2008

24. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur or whine.

Good afternoon, ladies -- here I am again.

What to say about this Maxim? It's pretty straightforward. Also, pretty difficult.

How do you remind yourself not to do these horribly tempting things?


Colleen said...

This is not particularly a spiritual response, but rather a practical one. When I am tempted to complain, either to myself or to someone else, I ask myself: "When did complaining ever make you actually feel better?" The answer is always "Never." Due to my weakness, it doesn't always stop the complaint...but it does make me think twice about opening my mouth. May God grant me grace to become stronger.

Carla said...

Colleen, thank you for this thought. As simple as this suggestion may seem, it is a beautiful insight for me. Complaining (etc.) is one of my besetting sins (a long-standing habit, like a huge onion with many layers) and it goes hand in hand with the next maxim about not seeking pity or praise. Even though it is painful to look at these ugly things in myself, there is something that also feels so good about seeing the truth and repenting, then looking to Christ to do His miraculous surgery of the soul. I guess this is what Lent about in large measure. Thanks be to God for these windows into the soul.

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.