Friday, April 4, 2014

Precepts for Christian Living from Father Thomas Hopko

I have heard Fr. Hopko speak of these things before, but I came across them in print and wanted to share.

1.. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything
2.. Pray as you can, not as you think you must. 
3.. Have a keep-able 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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