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Friday, November 18, 2011

55 Maxims

by Fr Thomas Hopko

  1. Be always with Christ, and trust God in everything.
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must.
  3. Have a keepable rule of prayer, done by discipline.
  4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day.
  5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied.
  6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
  7. Eat good foods in moderation, and fast on fasting days.
  8. Practice silence: inner, and outer.
  9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day.
  10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
  11. Go to liturgical services regularly.
  12. Go to confession, and holy communion regularly.
  13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts, and feelings.
  14. Reveal your thoughts, and feelings to someone regularly.
  15. Read the scriptures regularly.
  16. Read good books, a little at a time.
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
  18. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race.
  19. Be polite with everyone, first of all with family members.
  20. Maintain cleanliness, and order in your home.
  21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
  22. Exercise regularly.
  23. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time.
  24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself.
  25. Be faithful in little things.
  26. Do your work, then forget it.
  27. Do the most difficult, and painful things first.
  28. Face reality.
  29. Be grateful.
  30. Be cheerful.
  31. Be simple, hidden, quiet, and small.
  32. Never bring attention to yourself.
  33. Listen when people talk to you.
  34. Be awake, and attentive, fully present where you are.
  35. Think, and talk about things no more than necessary.
  36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly.
  37. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out.
  38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
  39. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur, or whine.
  40. Don’t seek, or expect pity, or praise.
  41. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
  42. Don’t judge anyone for anything.
  43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
  44. Don’t defend, or justify yourself.
  45. Be defined, and bound by God, not by people.
  46. Accept criticism gracefully, and test it carefully.
  47. Give advice only when asked, or when it is your duty.
  48. Do nothing for people that they can, and should, do for themselves.
  49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim, and caprice.
  50. Be merciful with yourself, and with others.
  51. Have no expectations, except to be fiercely tempted until your last breath.
  52. Focus exclusively on God, and light, and never on darkness, temptation, and sin.
  53. Patiently endure your faults, and sins peacefully, under God’s mercy.
  54. When you fall, get up immediately, and start over.
  55. Get help when you need it, without fear, or shame.