Tuesday, April 15, 2008

37. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.

Happy Tax Day! I just love that today lined up with this maxim about death. Our God does indeed have a sense of humor.

Here is Debra:

Wow. This makes me think of the icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. We are constantly climbing the ladder toward Christ, but the devils are constantly trying to pull us off.

Our purpose in life is spiritual salvation -- to live with God forever. On this journey, we will suffer and be tempted. We are not to 'expect' anything except that we will be tempted in this life. But we know that God and Christ are there with us through all these temptations.

Below are various thoughts I gleaned from the talks of Father Michael Duhulich this past weekend at the Antiochian Women of the East Lenten retreat that I think pertain to this maxim.

God is not the author of evil. God is the cause of everything cood. Evil is the withdrawal of good. God wishes all good things, but He permits free choice.

Every step you take either takes you closer to God or further away from Him.

Depend on God. "My strength is made perfect in your weakness." Suffering brings opportunities to have courage. Courage is hope in God's victory. Courage is found in the cross of Christ. I can't do it myself; I need Christ to help me. The Lord is my helper. I will not fail. We do not suffer alone. God is with us. In His love he suffers with us. We are not alone.

In the world there is suffering. But God has overcome the world. God has the power to turn what He permits into what He wishes.

God can use suffering to humble us or to help us grow closer to Him. When we suffer we can either despair or go to God. God will guide us with His Grace. God still loves us even when we fail. His is a steadfast love.

Every day is a gift. Life is a gift. Our goal in life is to live forever with God. It's okay to ask WHY; just find an answer. Scriptures give answers. Saints give answers.

We are to love and to pray.

In summary for today's maxim:

We should not be surprised at the temptations that bombard us daily. We should expect them. But that does not mean we should give in to them. That does not mean we should let go of the ladder. God is with us and He can help us 'hang on' and not fall off. God is with us even if we do fall off. He will catch us and put us back on the ladder. I believe that the stronger our faith becomes, the harder the devil tries to pull us down with temptations. But God is stronger. He HAS overcome the world. He HAS conquered death.

May you have a blessed end to this Great Lent.

Pray for me.


Doanh said...

Thanks Emily, for those snippets of truth, for it encouraged me much. Christ indeed has overcome the world. Therefore, His victory is our victory if we stand firm until the last day.

Doanh said...

Oops! I meant thanks Debra. I saw, "Posted by Emily" and automatically thought Emily wrote it. Sorry...

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.