44-61 Relationships with Others

Maxim 44

Never do anything which contradicts the pursuit of holiness.

Scripture References

Joel 2:12-13

Jude 1:20-25

1 Peter 2:21-25

Ephesians 1:15-19

2 Corinthians 4:7-15

1 Corinthians 1:4-9


Suggested Application

  • Love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable. The measuring stick of holiness is charity…I cannot say I love God and turn around and treat my neighbor poorly.

Maxim 45

Always be serious when you are with others, but let it be a joyful seriousness, courteous and full of a gentle and reserved simplicity.


Scripture References

Proverb 12:23

Proverb 14:8

Sirach 22:27

Matthew 10:16


Suggested Application

  • Am I sincere in my conduct and my conversation?
  • Do I accept myself as God sees me?Do I treat other people with respect?
  • Am I simple?

Maxim 46

Live with the Lord on the cross. Die to pleasures and to vanity. Live only for God and die completely to self.


Scripture References

Mark 8:34

Romans 12:1-2

Galatians 2:20; 6:14

Philippians 3:10

Colossians 1:24-25


Suggested Application

  • Am I committed to my ministry as a Sister of St. Joseph, to the point that I will be faithful to it even thought it requires death to self?

Maxim 47

When there is question of many things to be done at the same time in the community and the choice is given to you, choose what is more lowly and difficult, and leave to others what is easier and brings more honor.


Scripture References

John 13:3-15

Ephesians 6:7

1 Peter 5:5-7

Philippians 2:5-8


Suggested Application

  • Is self-abnegation a vital part of my life?
  • Am I willing to do the most menial and unseen tasks willingly and joyfully?
  • How am I serving God? my community? others?
  • In what frame of mind do I approach a task given to me?

Maxim 48

Pursue above all the pure glory of God, your salvation and perfection, the salvation and perfection of the neighbor, and not the satisfaction and consolation often found in these pursuits.


Scripture References

Matthew 6:33

John 15:8-17

Philippians 3:7-11


Suggested Application

  • Lord teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve: to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to look for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, save that of knowing that I am doing your will.


Maxim 49

Whenever there is no danger that God will be offended or less honored, manifest all the compliance possible towards the neighbor. Whatever difficulty you may experience in that, do not let it appear, showing a joyful countenance full of gentleness, as if you found great happiness in what is painful to you. Whatever you do for the dear neighbor, do it with the same feeling of devotion and of charity as if you were doing it for the very person of Jesus Christ.


Scripture References

Colossians 3:9-17
Ephesians 4:25-32

Matthew 5:43-48

Matthew 10:42

Philippians 2:3-5


Suggested Application

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. (Prayer of Saint Francis)


Maxim 50

Prefer always the will and contentment of others to your own will and contentment and do so even with a happy and joyful heart, provided, of course, as has been said, that God is not offended by it nor less honored.


Scripture References

John 2:1-11
Luke 10:29-37

Philippians 2:3-8


Suggested Application

  • Am I generous in seeking ways in which I can be of service to others?
  • Am I willing to inconvenience myself for others?
  • Am I willing to be “used” by others?

Maxim 51

Give all the happiness you can to those who give you a great deal of unhappiness, and give it willingly.


Scripture References

Romans 12:14-21

Ephesians 4:2-4, 31-32

Luke 6:27-29

1 Peter 3:8-9


Suggested Application

  • To whom do I show kindness?
  • Do I go out of my way to show kindness to someone for whom I have an aversion?
  • Am I generally kind to people or am I just kind to them when I want something from them?

Maxim 52

Interpret all things from the best possible point of view.


Scripture References

Matthew 7:1-5

Philippians 4:5

Mark 9:38-40


Suggested Application

  • How willing am I to trust other’s good intentions?
  • Do I trust other people’s goodness?

Maxim 53

Keep an ever free heart which clings to nothing terrestrial, whatever might be the appearances of good.


Scripture References

Matthew 4:2-10

Hebrews 11:13-16

2 Corinthians 4:18; 8:8-9

Luke 10:4

Luke 12:16-21


Suggested Application

  • Jesus, when we are grieved by the fear of losing materials things – buildings, institutions, employment – remind us that our poverty should set us free.
  • Jesus, when we seem to be seeking more and more bodily comforts, remind us that you had nowhere to lay your head.

Maxim 54

Empty yourself of all human respect and of the least blameworthy concession, and declare, with a generous heart, never to yield in anything that would be against God's will.


Scripture References

John 15:19

Philippians 2:15

Acts 5:27-42


Suggested Application

  • How much does human respect motivate my actions?
  • Do I sometimes fail to do good works to avoid attracting attention to myself, when such works could bring praise and thanks to God?

Maxim 55

When you work for the neighbor do it with a very unselfish love which expects no reward for its services, and aim at nothing other than helping her and being at the same time pleasing to God.


Scripture References

Luke 6:3
Galatians 1:10

Ephesians 6:7

Matthew 25:37-40


Suggested Application

  • Why do I serve my neighbor?--to please God?--to bring happiness to my neighbor?

Maxim 56

Be troubled instead of being complacent if it happens that what you do satisfies people since, according to St. Paul, it seems that those who are pleasing to men are not the servants of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:10).


Scripture References

Matthew 23:5-12
Luke 10:17-20

Galatians 1:10


Suggested Application

  • When praised, do I give all the glory to God for work well done and thank him for being an aid in his ministry? Do I dwell at length on words of praise?
  • Do my actions bear witness to the fact that God only is the judge who commends or rejects my actions?
  • Am I endeavoring to become self-effacing, more Christ-like? Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
  • In my everyday life do I seek praise? Am I frustrated if my greatest or least endeavor is not appreciated?

Maxim 57

At the end of your good works, give all the glory to our dear Saviour, who by his death has truly become the inspiration of your life and of your good works.


Scripture References

Isaiah 41:10b, 13, 14

Acts 3:11-16; 4:7-12

Ephesians 3:20-21

Matthew 5:16

John 15:5


Suggested Application

  • Listen to the Holy Spirit….What is the Spirit saying to you?

Maxim 58

Convince yourself of this truth, that you scarcely do anything in this world but place drawbacks in the path of God's grace.


Scripture References



Suggested Application

  • God created me.
  • Jesus redeemed me.
  • The Spirit sanctifies me.
    • Have I received these gifts?
    • Am I open to the many graces God offers me?

Maxim 59

Believe, after success in your good works, that the sins you have committed while doing them will have caused much less progress than God had reason to expect from your cooperation.


Scripture References

Luke 1:8-18

Matthew 6:25-30

Suggested Application

  • Is my progress towards Christ impeded by my lack of trust?
  • How often have I limited God’s work in others?

Maxim 60

Love and strive after, especially, the interior gentleness of your soul, living in peace and in the tranquility of all your passions, and outwardly doing all things without overeagerness and bearing what you must bear without any complaint or murmuring or anxiety whatsoever.


Scripture References

John 16:33

Philippians 4:7

Romans 8:35


Suggested Application

Am I able to retain my peace of mind when my faith in God, and in other people, is put to the test?

  • How do I act:
  • when my schedule is upset?
  • when the unforeseen happens?
  • when extra demands are laid on me?
  • whennothing goes right?
  • Am I a channel of God’s consolation to my sisters?

Maxim 61

Strive also wholeheartedly after the peaceful and intimate union with God, very cordial charity and forbearance towards the neighbor, really innocent purity of heart, very perfect fidelity to grace joined to a peaceful death to all natural inclinations, very true humility, simplicity and sincere candor, the obedience of a child who looks for no reason, poverty completely stripped, continual joy of spirit appropriate to your institute, in a word, attain the pure and perfect love of God which explains all things.


Scripture References

1 Peter 5:5-7

Mark 10:17-22


Suggested Application

  • What more is God asking of me now?
  • What is keeping me from a deeper relationship with God?

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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