Saturday, June 5, 2010

55 Maxims of 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 all your thoughts and feelings to a trusted person 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 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 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 others
51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath
52. Focus exclusively on God and light, and never on darkness, temptation and sin
53. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults serenely, 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

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