Living the Orthodox Christian Life in the Modern World: 55 Maxims

Living the Orthodox Christian Life in the Modern World: 55 Maxims

Below is a list prepared by the late Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko that I have modified for our parishioners. Please consider working these into your daily lives (printable version attached).
 
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark
 
  1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must.
  3. Have a manageable daily rule of prayer that is prayed faithfully.
  4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day.
  5. Repeat the Jesus 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. Attend Liturgy every Sunday and attend the other (non-Sunday) church 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 your confessor regularly.
  15. Read the scriptures daily.
  16. Read good books, a little at a time.
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints by reading about them.
  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 (And put down your phone!).
  34. Be awake and attentive, fully present where you are (And put down your phone!).
  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.

Living the Orthodox Christian Life in the Modern World