12-43 Relationship with God

Maxim 12

Choose to bear all the evils of time rather than the least of eternity, all the evils of nature rather than the least deprivation of grace, since all kinds of reasons illumined by faith teach you to live according to this truth.


Scripture References

James 1:12

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

1 Timothy 4:5-8

Matthew 16:24-26

Philippians 1:21-24


Suggested Application

  • Do I accept daily crosses, inconveniences,  opposition and disappointments in a Christ-like manner?
  • Do I bear suffering patiently?
  • To live is Christ; to die is gain. Is my life patterned on these words?

Maxim 13

Consequently, accept without hesitation the loss of all good and the suffering of all evil, rather than the failure, however slight, to fulfill the holy will of God.


Scripture References

1 Peter 5:8-11

Sirach 2:1-2

Matthew 28

Mark 13:13

Luke 9:23-24

Job 1:22


Suggested Application

  • Am I willing to sacrifice myself and my good name for what is right?
  • How often do I remind myself that God's grace is "sufficient" for me?
  • Do I pray for courage, fidelity and discernment?

Maxim 14

Be completely humble since whatever you are, whatever you have, and whatever you do for yourself and others depends on a pure mercy and infinite condescension of God. If you are not humble in every way, you make yourself unworthy of these and the assistance of his graces.


Scripture References

Luke 1:46

Matthew 6:25-34

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

Romans 12:3-7


Suggested Application

  • Am I convinced that all that I am, have, and do is a gift from God?
  • Do I use my gifts/talents for God's glory or for my own?
  • Do I realize that God's work can be most effectively accomplished through me if I am humble?

Maxim 15

Likewise, be very faithful to the grace of the Holy Spirit, listening attentively, obeying promptly and entirely, attributing to God, as is indeed just, the honor resulting from the success of your good actions.


Scripture References

John 16:13-14

Romans 8:1-27


Suggested Application

  • Do I listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in my life?
  • Am I faithfulto giving time daily to personal prayer?
  • Am I faithful to the graces of the Holy Spirit?
  • Holy Spirit of Love, guide me and help me to be more faithful to your inspirations.

Maxim 16

In everything and everywhere, have only God, God's will and glory before your eyes, and make no account of anything else.


Scripture References

Hebrews 10:7-9

Matthew 7:21

John 17:1-5; 4:34; 5:30

John 7:16-18

Luke 22:42


Suggested Application

  • Do I occasionally examine my real aim in life?
  • Knowing what God wants, do I endeavor with my whole heart to fulfill God's wishes for me?
  • Do I frequently recall the presence of God and pray for a greater awareness of it?

Maxim 17

Desire little in this world, and what you do desire, desire that very little. And better yet, live without desire and set plans. Abandon yourself, surrendering very gently, to the very loving Providence of God.


Scripture References

1 Timothy 6:7-9

Luke 10:40-42; 12:16-21

Hebrews 13:5-6

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Matthew 6:25-33


Suggested Application

  • Do I try to accept my work, my companions, my success or failure?
  • Do I live in the present or do I worry needlessly about the future?
  • Does God hold the first place in my life?
  • Do I trust God and rely on God's strength to see me through difficulties?
  • Do I pray for trust?
  • If so, do I show my trust in God by waiting patiently for God to act?

Maxim 18

Make so perfect a sacrifice of self and of will that you are empty of self from this time on, and thus you will no longer be able to choose deliberately anything except that God's will be completely and perfectly accomplished in you, by you, and among all others.


Scripture References

Genesis 22:1-9

Romans 12:1-2

John 12:24

Matthew 26:39-45


Suggested Application

  • Doing his Father's will, Jesus suffered:the agony in the garden, the scourging at the pillar, the crowning with thorns, the crucifixion, the loss of his friends, the feeling of abandonment
  • Doing the will of the Father will mean that I will suffer too...

Maxim 19

Recognize and cherish tenderly this very loving will in all that happens in your life, whatever this may be, and in all the orders of your superiors, unless something manifestly sinful is commanded.


Scripture References

Sirach 2:1-5

Mark 14:32-37

Romans 13:1-2

Hebrews 13:17; 10:5-9


Suggested Application

When I find God's will difficult, do I follow Jesus' example--"being in agony, he prayed longer?"Do I say a sincere and loving "may your will be done" at least in my heart if not with the lips, regardless of how I feel emotionally?Do I try to relate all the daily happenings to God's plan for me?Am I obedient?Do I believe in authority?


Maxim 20

Apply yourself seriously and totally to perform with perfection the present will of God without diverting yourself from it, to the detriment of your obligations, by considering uselessly what will be intimated and manifested to you in due time and place.


Scripture References

Exodus 3:4

Psalm 26:1; 11, 14

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Jeremiah 1:4-8

Proverb 16:3

Colossians 3:23-25


Suggested Application

  • In addition to recognizing God's will (Maxim 20), do I carry it out, confident that God gives me the graces I need at the present
    moment to be totally for him?


Maxim 21

Desire neither praise nor reward for your good works in this life and you will have deeper and fuller life in eternity.


Scripture References

Matthew 6:3-4; 17-18

Philippians 2:6-8; 3:8


Suggested Application

  • Do I realize that I am an instrument of God's love?
  • I may be blessed with many gifts; these gifts are meaningless if I do not recognize my poverty.
  • Do I believe that all is gift?
  • God uses me as an instrument of his love...

Maxim 22

On the contrary, behave in such a manner that your good actions are hidden in time and known to God alone, to appear only in eternity and even never to appear, if God so wills.


Scripture References

2 Corinthians 5:10

Matthew 6:16-18

Matthew 6:1-6

Colossians 3:1-4


Suggested Application

  • Do I draw attention to my good actions for my own self-satisfaction?
  • Am I content if my good actions are ignored, or unappreciated or misinterpreted
  • Do I trust in God's loving judgment and generosity?

Maxim 23

Love nothing but God and what can be called divine.


Scripture References

Romans 12:1-2

John 15:7-12

Ephesians 5:1-2


Suggested Application

  • Am I single-hearted?
  • The pronouncement of my vows indicates that I am a dedicated religious. Does my way of life verify this commitment?
  • Jesus' life was a life of sacrifice. Am I ready to follow him no matter what the personal cost is to me? in everything?
    on all occasions?

Maxim 24

Be utterly given to God by a holy self-surrender, utterly for God by a love pure and completely unselfish, utterly in God by a continuing effort to be more conscious of his presence, utterly accordingly to God by a will, a life and everything conformed to him.


Scripture References

Mark 12:28-31


Suggested Application

  • Do I appreciate the importance of keeping the
    first and greatest commandment?
  • Do I endeavor to see Jesus in my neighbor?
  • Do I ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit in
    ascertaining God's will for me?
  • Do I live in God's presence?

Maxim 25

Be happy in all things about God's glory solely, regardless of who furthers it, and be happier yet when others seem noticeably to advance that glory more than you do.


Scripture References

John 16:20

Luke 15:4-7

Psalm 16:9-11


Suggested Application

  • Do I talk with others about their spiritual journey and encourage them in their efforts to be holy?
  • Do I share my spiritual journey with others?
  • Ultimately, what is the source of my happiness?
  • Am I happy when others exceed me in spiritual and personal gifts?

Maxim 26

Seek in everything God's contentment and not anything else, and the better to practice this, remember in the entire living out of your life, in desolation, in sickness, etc., to desire God's greater contentment without giving a thought to your own interest.


Scripture References

Sirach 2:1-5; 3:18

James 1:2-4

Colossians 3:17

1 Corinthians 10:31


Suggested Application

  • Do I strive for an ever deeper awareness of God’s love for me?
  • How faithful and attentive am I to making my morning offering, giving my whole day as a gift to God?
  • Am I impelled by love to carry the cross, or am I a compelled crossbearer?
  • Does my behavior bear witness to my total commitment?

Maxim 27

Seek out the interior and hidden life of Jesus insofar as the activities of zeal allow.


Scripture References

John 14:10-11

Luke 2:49-51

Luke 6:12


Suggested Application

  • Do I interrelate a hidden life in God and a life active for God?
  • Am I in the habit of turning to God in prayer, not only when the going is hard, but also when all seems at peace?

Maxim 28

Be sad over the world's notice of you or affection for you and be convinced that such notice and affection are wasted on anyone who so little merits it; and, on the contrary, desire only that the preoccupation and affection of people be, like that of the angels, of God alone and for God alone.


Scripture References

Isaiah 43:1-7

Colossians 3:12-15


Suggested Application

  • Does the gospel message find a home in me?

Maxim 29

Believe with Saint Teresa the truths of your religion with a firmer faith when they are more difficult to understand. (The Autobiography of Teresa of Avila, Chapter XIX).


Scripture References

1 Corinthians 16:13

1 Timothy 6:11-14

Colossians 1:21-23

John 20:24-29


Suggested Application

  • I believe Lord, help my unbelief…
  • What do I do to nourish my faith in Jesus and his mission?

Maxim 30

And do the same in the practice of hope. When in your actions and plans there is little likelihood of success or of human aid and more difficulties oppose you, trust in God far more.


Scripture References

Psalm 27, 11, 31, 62, 118

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Luke 12:7; 22-31

Romans 15:13

1 Timothy 4:10

Proverb 3:5-6

John 16:33


Suggested Application

  • Do I pray for greater confidence in God?
  • Do I turn to God in the time of need?
  • Do I seek God’s help in fulfilling my commitment?
  • Is my confidence in God made evident through joyful witness?

Maxim 31

In your greatest troubles and dangers hope with a firm confidence not that God will comfort or deliver you but that he will effect in you and through you his holy and loving will and live perfectly at peace with this hope.


Scripture References

James 1:12

Colossians 1:9-12

1 Peter 4:12-16, 19


Suggested Application

  • Do I really try to accept difficulties willingly, trusting God?
  • If God has taken such great pains to share all of creation with us, will he not give us the strength to persevere?
  • Do I seek God’s help in fulfilling my commitment?
  • Am I willing to suffer as Jesus did, in my own small way, knowing that he will never ask for suffering as great as his?
  • Do I realize that the will of God may not be what I expect?
  • Do I frequently make an act of hope?

Maxim 32

When you happen to be abandoned by creatures,and even by God if he takes away his sensible graces, remember the abandonment of the dear Savior on the cross and tenderly cherish your own consideration of his.


Scripture References

Psalm 22, 38, 50, 86, 102,130

Matthew 16:24

Mark 14:33

Mark 15:34


Suggested Application

  • Silent reflection

Maxim 33

If it glorifies God, desire to be as pleasing to him by each of your actions as the (holiest) persons in this world would be by the practice of the same action.


Scripture References

1 Peter 1:13-16

Leviticus 20:7-9

2 Timothy 1:6-10


Suggested Application

  • Do I want to be holy?
  • Does my life glorify God?
  • Am I clinging to anything that keeps me from glorifying God?
  • What more is God asking of me at this time?

Maxim 34

In your undertakings, see to it that God alone is their inspiration and their goal; that in their execution you never turn aside from his holy will, and as for the result, remain completely indifferent whether they succeed or not, desiring that in all and by all the will of God would be perfectly fulfilled, a will that you should equally recognize and love when your plans are delayed and even destroyed and when you see their advancement and successful development.


Scripture References

Hebrews 10:8-10

Matthew 5:16

Matthew 6:1

Psalm 40:7-9


Suggested Application

  • Am I willing to do the most menial and unseen tasks willingly and joyfully?
  • Do I make use of my God-given gifts or do I hide them through false humility?
  • Humility is truth…Is God really at the corner of my life and work?
  • Do I seek God’s will rather than my own?

Maxim 35

Convince yourself that wherever you are and whatever you do God sees you clearly and distinctly; do not do in his presence what you would not dare to do in the presence of a person you should esteem.


Scripture References

Psalm 100:2


Suggested Application

  • Reflect on: Psalm 139:1-10

Maxim 36

Let your affections and actions be guided by reason and duty and not by caprice and natural inclinations.

Scripture References

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Romans 8:31-39

Romans 9:24-27

1 Corinthians 5:6-8


Suggested Application

  • Reflect on: Ephesians 3:14-19

Maxim 37

Ask nothing and refuse nothing, unless you judge it absolutely necessary after having prayed to God. Even in that case let it be done as a simple proposal together with a complete resignation whether this proposal is accepted or not.


Scripture References

Job 1:21-22; 2:10

Mark 14:35-36

Luke 1:38

Matthew 6:25-34


Suggested Application

  • Lord, what will you have me do?
  • Am I willing to let God do with me what he chooses?
  • Do I trust in God’s goodness?

Maxim 38

Never complain about anyone but yourself.


Scripture References

John 8:1-11

Matthew 7:1-5

Wisdom 12:15-22

Luke 20:45-47

James 3:2-12; 2:1-13

1 John 3:21-24


Suggested Application

  • Reflect on: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Maxim 39

Be nothing to yourself and be utterly given to God and to the neighbor.


Scripture References

Galatians 5:13-14

Matthew 6:19-20


Suggested Application

  • Do I recognize my neighbor as:
    • sisters in my local community?
    • other sisters in community?
    • the child or youth whom I teach?
    • people to whom I minister?
    • my fellow workers?
    • people I read about in the newspaper?
    • the homeless?
    • the mentally ill?


Maxim 40

Love nothing that is not eternal.


Scripture References

John 13:34-35

1 Corinthains 10:24


Suggested Application

  • What is the deepest desire of my heart?
  • Am I a child of this world or the next?
  • Do I ever objectify my reality by asking: what is this in the light of eternity?

Maxim 41

Tend solely and lovingly to resemble the dear Savior perfectly and in all things. Let him live in you and you in him.


Scripture References

Galatians 2:19-21

Luke 6:36-38

Mark 8:34-38

2 Corinthians 3:3


Suggested Application

  • Reflect on: 2 Corinthians 3:3

Maxim 42

Long solely and constantly for the great love of God and of our Savior Jesus, but long for it without overeagerness.


Scripture References

Philippians 4:6-9

John 7:37

Psalm 42:2-3

Psalm 63:1-4


Suggested Application

  • Reflect on the psalms listed above.

Maxim 43

Be, at least in desire, the poorest people, the most humble and humbled, the most pure and obedient, in order to become like the one who was all that, the divine exemplar according to whom you should
form yourself.


Scripture References

Philippians 2:1-11

John 13:3-15

Matthew 26:36-46

Matthew 8:20


Suggested Application

His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8

The Scripture References can be found at the United States Conference of Bishops website.

Maxim Translation: Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph International Research Team, 1975.
Project Designer: Sister Catherine Marie Kreta, CSJ

Gospel Values, References, Application: Sister Marilyn Binder, CSJ

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