From Kassiani Michele in Alabama:
I don't like this maxim very much. You can guess why......because I stink at it. I have an opinion about everything. This isn't always a good thing. I think some issues that go along with this maxim are being a good listener and keeping your mouth shut. HA!
I love to help people. I am always ready to jump on board and solve the problem but sometimes that isn't what is needed. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is needed. If asked for advice, think before you speak. It is ok not to have an answer. It is ok to say "Let's pray together about it" and then do it right then and there. I love that about one of my special friends. She will stop and pray in Wal-Mart!
How about when you see a friend in sin? Love is going to them and gently confronting them. There are times that are appropriate for this kind of action. I have been on both sides and I find that it isn't easy being on either side. But, praise be to God for a friend that will seek me out and love me enough to help me.
We are almost at the end of this journey we call Great Lent and I can say this has been a difficult Lent for me and my family. I thank God for revealing my sin and healing my soul. I pray you all have a blessed Pascha!
Thursday, April 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.