Monday, July 04, 2011

The Basic Elements of Victorious Christian Life

On Saturday a clerk in a store in that sells Orthodox stuff and I were chatting and he said, "Hey come with me out to my truck for a minute I have something I want to give you."  I went with him and what he gave me was a piece of paper with some instruction from Fr. Thomas Hopko inscribed thereupon.

The Basic Elements of Victorious Christian Life
55 Maxims by V.Rev. Fr. Thomas Hopko

1. Be always with Christ.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
4. Say the Lord's Prayer several times a day.
5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
7. Eat good foods in moderation.
8. Keep the Church's fasting rules.
9. Spend some time insilence every day.
10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
11. Go to liturgical services regularly.
12. Go to confession and communion regularly.
13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings.  Cut them off at the start.
14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.
15. Read the Scriptures regularly.
16. Read good books a little bit at a time.
17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
18. Be an ordinary person.
19. Be polite with everyone.
20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
21. Have a healthy wholesome hobby.
22. Exercize regulary.
23. Live a day and a part of a day at a time.
24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself.
25. Be faithfull in little things.
26. Do your work, and then forget it.
27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
28. Face reality.
29. Be grateful in all things.
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.
35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, and directly.
37. Flee imagination, analysis, figuring things out.
38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
39. Don't complain, mumble, murmer, or whine.
40. Don't compare yourself with anyone.
41. Don't seek or expect praise or pity from 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 or bound by God alone.
46. Accept criticizm gratefully but test it critically.
47. Give advice to others only when asked or obligated to do so.
48. Do nothing for others 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 to your last breath.
52. Focus exclusively on God and light, not on sin and darkness.
53. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults and sins peacefully, serenely, because you know that God's mercy is greater than your wretchedness.
54. When you fall, get up immediately, and start over.
55. Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.


Anonymous said...

somebody pared down the list! Its gone from 55 to 40!

Matt said...

40 is the more Orthodox number. That's probably why he did it. Hmmmm. He could have pared it down to 12 or 3.

Cyndi said...

Thanks for posting!

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