From Debra in Baltimore:
Please pray for me.
I'll talk about the second phrase first. Trust God in everything. I feel blessed that I can truly say that I see how God has worked in my life through the years. Because of this I can trust God in almost every part of my life. In the 31 years of my marriage, we've moved 8 times and we've always found jobs, housing and church in a short period of time. We've seen God open doors and close doors to lead us where I believe He has wanted us to go.
In this time of uncertain financial stress in the world, I pray for wisdom to make the right choices in my daily life concerning jobs and money. I choose to trust that God will provide for my family.
I was taught many years ago one way to 'see' how God works in my life. Write down prayers in a notebook. Then at a later time, say a year later, go back and see how God answered those prayers. I haven't done this in recent years, but it can be a tangible reminder of how God is faithful and this helped me to trust God more.
Once we can trust God, we want to be 'with Christ.' At the moment, I see this to mean being in the will of Christ, being where He wants me to be, thinking of Christ off and on all day. Praying short prayers at all times of the day. Saying the Jesus prayer silently all day long as I go about my work or in the car. I am not 'always with Christ.' I know this is a goal to strive for.
I pray that during this Great Lenten season, that all of us reading and commenting on these 40 maxims will be able to say that we are 'always with Christ and trust God in everything.' Let us pray for each other even if we don't know each other personally.
May God grant us a blessed time of preparation for Pascha during this season.
Monday, March 2, 2009
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.