62-100 Relationship with Self

Maxim 62

Be constant in the way of life and virtue you have chosen, changing nothing about it except to improve it.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 11:29

Philippians 4:9

Sirach 2:1-5

Luke 9:62

 

Suggested Application

  • Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To you, O Lord, I return it. All is yours, dispose of it wholly according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is sufficient for me.

Maxim 63

Do not consider unfortunate events as obstacles but as aids and cherish them, whatever they may be, as effects of the gentle and loving Providence of God your Father.



 

Scripture References

Luke 21:10-19

James 1:2-4, 12

Proverb 3:11-12

Hebrews 12:5-7

 

Suggested Application

  • When trials come, do I make an act of faith, and turn to God for help
    and comfort?
  • Do I, in these circumstances, go about my present duties calmly and
    cheerfully?
  • Do I believe that all is gift, even trials?

Maxim 64

Strive to be kind always to everyone and unkind to no one.

 

Scripture References

Ephesians 4:2-4, 29-32

Galatians 6:2, 9-10

John 13:12-15

Romans 12:9-10, 14, 17

1 Peter 3:9

 

Suggested Application

  • Jesus, you gave me a wonderful example at the last supper when you
    washed the feet of your disciples. Help me never to hesitate to help others. Help me to see you in my companions.

Maxim 65

Be exact and diligent to do what you are advised or what is required by your duties, especially when these are useful or necessary for the neighbor. And beware of the fact that we are often apt to postpone them to accomplish others which are not so much our duty but are more in accordance with our natural inclination and our own petty interest.

 

Scripture References

2 Timothy 4:7

Colossians 3:23-24

Ephesians 6:5-9

 

Suggested Application

  • Am I aware of God’s presence as I perform my daily work?
  • Knowing that the lot of people is honest labor, do I put my heart into
    my assignment and rejoice that I have been given time to accomplish the task?
  • If confronted with death today, could I say with Saint Paul, “I have
    competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith?

Maxim 66

Be courageous to undertake what God wants of you and constant to persevere in what you undertake, never giving up, whatever difficulties occur and whatever obstacles may be placed in your path unless you become totally powerless against them.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 7:24

Mark 14:32-42

Luke 9:61

Philippians 1:20-24; 2:12-13; 3:12-13

2 Corinthians 11:25-29

James 5:7-8

 

Suggested Application

  • Am I zealous in continuing the mission of Jesus?
  • Am I courageous when trials and tribulations come?
  • Am I willing to stake my life on Jesus?

Maxim 67

Accordingly, pursue to the very end and with gentleness and vigor what you have once and for all resolved and what you prudently believe corresponds to the greater glory of God.

 

Scripture References

Galatians 5:22-23; 6:9

2 Timothy 2:3-5

Luke 9:62

 

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 ask reward, save that of knowing that I am doing your will. (Saint Ignatius)

Maxim 68

Consider as suspect any desire that is overeager and capable of distracting you from more necessary and obligatory occupations.

 

Scripture References

Sirach 5:11

1Corinthians 2:11-14

1 John 4:1-2

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I act on first impulses or restrain my impulses until I have sought
    the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do I often ask myself, “Why and for whom am I doing this?
  • Lord, show me the way, with wisdom of the Spirit, to assume new
    activities without neglecting the dutiful performance of my necessary duties. Make me humbly free from self-interest and anxieties, tranquil in my dependence on your Holy Spirit.

Maxim 69

Never think of tomorrow unless it has some necessary link with today, but entrust it entirely to Providence.

 

Scripture References

Colossians 3:1-4

Ephesians 3:16-21

Luke 19:41-44

Romans 8:28-30

Matthew 8:25-34

 

Suggested Application

  • Can I let go and let God?God knows what I need. Jesus said, “Set your
    hearts on the kingdom…do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” (Matthew 8:34)

Maxim 70

Never be curious regarding the decisions superiors have in mind for you, but await them all from God's hand, and desire this knowledge only at his appointed time without overeagerness to be informed sooner.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 1:18-21; 5:3

Matthew 6:9-13, 33-34

Luke 1:26-38

John 14:1

Sirach 3:21-22

 

Suggested Application

  • Pray the “Our Father” meditatively.
  • How well does Mary’s fiat become my own when asked by those in authority to take on a position or a task that I fear, or dislike, or that I do not understand?
  • Saint Joseph, teach me to follow your example when I am perplexed and in doubt.

Maxim 71

Live content with the work obedience gives you, applying yourself to do it carefully, unwilling to tolerate the slightest thought of change, until obedience orders it.

 

Scripture References

Luke 2:51; 9:23-24

1 John 4:1-2

Hebrews 5:8

Matthew 15:24

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I reflect on my obedience and the spirit in which I do my assignment?
  • Only when I am at peace with myself and my neighbor am I at peace with Christ.
  • Am I making an everyday effort to become more Christ-like as I seek
    God’s will?

Maxim 72

Be always ready to obey peacefully, indifferent to all that is not against God's will: to live or to die, to be healthy or ill, happy or unhappy, loved or persecuted, finding always your complete contentment solely in fulfilling God's will.

 

Scripture References

Genesis 22:1-19

Luke 2:51

2 Corinthians 12-10

Philippians 2:6-11

Philippians 4:11-13

 

Suggested Application

  • Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To you, O Lord, I return it. All is yours, dispose of it according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is sufficient for me.

Maxim 73

Live out your life with one desire only: to be always what God wants you to be, in nature, grace, and glory, for time and eternity.

 

Scripture References

Proverb 16:1-3

Colossians 3:1-4

Philippians 2:6-11

2 Corinthians 12:5

Romans 12:1-8

 

Suggested Application

  • My God, I profess the perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and
    obedience…My words say I have given myself to God. Does my life witness to this
    commitment.

Maxim 74

Obey promptly, joyfully, and simply, without allowing, if you are able, a single thought of reluctance or refusal or without interjecting a single word between the order and the execution, unless it would obviously be a sin.

 

Scripture References

Luke 2:51

1 John 3:24

Matthew 2:13-14

John 2:5, 7-8

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I respond generously to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do I go forward cheerfully and fearlessly to work with others in the
    true spirit of the Gospel?

Maxim 75

Desire that people have a modest opinion of you and a good one of others; be uneasy when you are considered important and very much at ease when others are.

 

Scripture References

Proverb 25:6-7

Romans 12:3

James 4:10

1 Corinthians 3:18; 4:3-5

1 Peter 5:5-6

Galatians 5:13-14

Matthew 18:4; 22:38-39

 

Suggested Application

  • “Everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to
    be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of the other person’s interests instead. In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3-5)

Maxim 76

Hide, as well as is possible to you, the ever so little grace God bestows on you; reveal, should an opportunity offer, what allows you to be less esteemed, but do this with discretion.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 25:14-30

1 Corinthians 15:10

2 Corinthians 12:5, 9

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I use the gifts of God for his glory or for my own satisfaction?
  • Am I aware of my talents and do I use them?

Maxim 77

Fulfill all the duties of the great and true love of God, and you will fulfill the rest.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 5:43-48

Matthew 22:34-40

 

Suggested Application

  • Does my life witness that I am a member of the congregation of the great love of God?

Maxim 78

"Glory" in contempt, and accept embarrassment not only patiently but also joyfully and gratefully. It is, as a matter of fact, in embarrassment and in contempt that great souls find an endless source of grace, merit, and heavenly blessings.

 

Scripture References

2 Corinthians 12:9

Acts 5:41-42

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I cooperate with the grace of my vocation and ask God to help me
    fulfill his plan for my life, even when suffering contempt and contradiction?
  • Am I appreciative of God’s generosity and thankful for all the graces
    given to me?

Maxim 79

Be undisturbed if others have more intelligence and ability than you, more grace and even more virtue when God has willed it, finding your contentment only in the accomplishment of God's contentment.

 

Scripture References

Proverb 14:30

Matthew 25:14-30

1 Corinthians 12:4-27

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I sometimes feel that I am of little worth, having nothing to offer?
  • Do I rejoice in the gifts of others?
  • Do I praise them for their accomplishments?
  • Am I positive in my outlook?

Maxim 80

Consider as certain that, when you commit fewer faults and practice virtue more easily, you are not more holy but only more indebted to God and to his grace; such grace often makes beginners more devoted in good works and less prone to faults than those who have already made much progress. Be aware that holiness consists in something utterly hidden and known to God alone.

 

Scripture References

Psalm 40:9

Luke 1:38

Luke 2:51

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I find peace quietly going about my daily work?
  • Do I spend sufficient time reading, meditating, studying, praying? Jesus is my life. Do I know him?

Maxim 81

Whatever the virtue you recognize in yourself, never turn away from the true fear of God, conscious that his judgements are unfathomable and that his appraisals are quite different from ours.

 

Scripture References

Isaiah 26:4-6

Luke 1:46

Isaiah 5:21

1 Corinthians 4:7

 

Suggested Application

  • All is gift!
  • Do I thank God for the virtues I possess?

Maxim 82

Consider as certain that in the practice of zeal there is nothing so good as peaceful and disinterested desires for God's glory. God mercifully grants these desires to completely unworthy creatures.

 

Scripture References

Luke 20:45-47

John 17:1-10

Matthew 5:16

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I perform my work in the spirit of the beatitudes in order to bring
    honor and glory to God, and thus draw others to follow Jesus?

Maxim 83

However pure your intentions and your views seems, convince yourself that, in some hidden recess of these intentions, you are still seeking self.

 

Scripture References

1 John 4:1-2

Romans 12:3, 9-11

Galatians 5:16-18

Suggested Application

  • Do I seek praise through self-deprecation or false humility?
  • Does my love of comfort and the good things of life cause me to complain and to be irritable when I am deprived of them?
  • Jesus, Lord of my life, the knowledge of my weakness and evil tendency, helps me to trust in your strength and in your desire to be my God.

Maxim 84

Never go ahead of grace by an imprudent eagerness, but quietly await its movements.

 

Scripture References

Isaiah 30:20-21

Mark 14:26-31

 

Suggested Application

Lord, my God, do not let me act hastily, but rather, when, through prayer and counsel I have discerned your most holy will for me, grant me the grace to follow it with great humility, sweetness, faithfulness and courage.

 

Maxim 85

Advance good works until they are almost finished; and then, whenever possible, let them be completed by someone else who will receive the honor.

 

Scripture References

1 Corinthians 3:6-8

Suggested Application

  • Loving God, grant me the grace to work wholeheartedly for your honor and glory, and the good of others, but quietly and without being noticed, remembering always that it is your work not mine, that I am doing. Then if it is your will that I should leave these projects unfinished, help me to do so humbly and joyfully and be sincerely happy that someone else will have the joy
    of seeing them to completion.

Maxim 86

Be above everything that is not God, not allowing yourself to be dominated by any earthly creature but keep all subject to reason.

 

Scripture References

Colossians 2:6-7

Ephesians 3:16-21

2 Chronicles 15:1-7

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17,9:1

 

Suggested Application

  • Where does my treasure lie?
  • Do I place more trust in people than I do in God?
  • Is God my one necessity?
  • Lord, to whom shall I go? You are the source of my life.

Maxim 87

Put no more value on any apparent virtues you may notice in youself than on deceptive images, reminding yourself always that what is in you and from you is only illusion and sin, and that, even when you have done all, you are an "unprofitable servant."

 

Scripture References

Luke 17:10

Job 30:16-31

Psalm 77

Romans 6:20-23

Philippians 4:4-9

 

Suggested Application

  • “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Maxim 88

Be careful about the good use of time which is so precious, not losing a minute of it, devoting and offering it to God unreservedly with very pure and noble intentions.

 

Scripture References

Galatians 6:9-10

2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

 

Suggested Application

  • How faithful am I to dedicating my day to God?
  • Am I at peace in the knowledge that time is of infinite value and God
    expects me to use it for his glory?
  • In all my activities, am I a witness to eternal values?

Maxim 89

Profit from the opportunities that arise to practice the general virtues in their highest degree.

 

Scripture References

Luke 2:41-52

John 4:7-8

Matthew 4:18-22

Suggested Application

  • Each moment of the day can be a call from God to action. How do I
    answer?

Maxim 90

Accomplish with great diligence and perfection everyday actions and unexpected ones, and never become careless in this respect.

 

Scripture References

Joshua 22:5

Proverb 6:6-11

2 Peter 1:3, 5-8

Deuteronomy 4:9

Matthew 5:48

 

Suggested Application

  • Lord, tell me what you want me to do and give me the strength to respond generously and courageously to your will.

Maxim 91

Be a person of such greatness that what is not God will be nothing, and embrace gently and eagerly great apostolic undertakings when the Holy Spirit urges you to this; but according to this same maxim, whatever you do or suffer, let your heart find it a trifle, as indeed it is, in comparison with the grandeur of God and the worth of God's sovereign perfection.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 5:6; 6:33

Philippians 3:7-9

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I permit worries and distractions to cloud the presence of God in me and hinder my work for the spread of the kingdom?
  • Do the inspirations of the Holy Spirit find ready response in me?

Maxim 92

Do not imagine that you have arrived at the true love of God before that holy love has entirely emptied you of every kind of vanity, cowardice, heedlessness, sensuality, earthly attachment and affection; in a word, all natural inclination, in order to bring you to live by the movements of grace and by the maxims of the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Scripture References

Philippians 2:1-11

Suggested Application

  • “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4)

Maxim 93

For the three faculties of your soul desire this perfection: for the memory, to forget things and self in order to remember little else but God; for the intellect, to see God in all things: his glory, his will, his contentment solely; for the will, the one freedom to go to God, to love God, to embrace all the dictates of his providence with all the love of your heart.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 5:13-16

Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Suggested Application

  • Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!

Maxim 94

Be watchful and take care not to be deceived; in living out your life, by the devil masquerading as an angel of light; he often incites us to take the movements of nature for the movements of grace and inner, somewhat deceptive instincts, for true inspirations or revelations of God.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 4:1-11;7:15-20

Matthew 16:22-23;24:4-5

Romans 12:16

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Ephesians 6:11-12

Colossians 2:8

1 John 4:1-2

 

Suggested Application

  • Lord, that I may see!

Maxim 95

Develop fully in yourself indifference and resignation to the will of God; abandonment of self once and for all to the comforting bosom of Providence; a loving acquiescence to all the orders of his good pleasure, whatever may be the circumstances of your life; a tender affection for the very pure will of God; and ardent desire to be entirely according to his heart. All these expressions describe for you, in a variety of ways, the perfect conformity of your will to God's which constitutes your entire perfection.

 

Scripture References

Mark 1:1-8; 10:13-16

Luke1:46-55; 5:1-11

John 4:34-38;15:1-7

Titus 2:11-14

Hebrews 5:1-10

 

Suggested Application

  • Lord, may your will be done. Teach me your ways.

Maxim 96

When you are fortunate enough to possess the presence of grace and the desirable effects of God's love, remember that this great good is something lent rather belonging to you, it belongs to the Savior Jesus, from whose merits this good comes, more than it belongs to you, this Savior may take it away from you when he pleases without doing you wrong, and if he ever withdrew his graces, the good in you would vanish like smoke.

 

Scripture References

Matthew 6:25-34

Mark 6:30-33, 45-46

Mark 6:17-24

Luke 2:8-20

John 14:23-31

Hebrews 6:9-20;13:17-19

 

Suggested Application

  • Do I believe that God’s grace is operative in me?
  • Grace is a gift from God. Do I treasure this gift by responding fully to
    its promptings?

Maxim 97

When you meet contradictions, strengthen yourself against human fears, continuing to hope when everything seems to throw you into hopelessness regarding the success of your undertakings.

 

Scripture References

Luke 22:40-46

Isaiah 40:31; 12:2

Philippians 4:13

 

Suggested Application

  • When faced with difficulties do I pray with Jesus in the garden until I
    have reached a suitable solution, or until I can say, “not my will, but Thine be done?”

Maxim 98

Furthermore, when burdened with great crosses, do not let your heart yearn for death. Let it be enough for you to be crucified with Jesus Christ, as much as and in the way that it is pleasing to God; and regarding every circumstance of your life and death, let him decide.

 

Scripture References

Job 2:10

Hosea 6:1-2

Sirach 15:1-2

John 15:1-2

Colossians 1:24

 

Suggested Application

  • Soul of Christ sanctify me; Body of Christ save me; Blood of Christ
    inebriate me; Water from the Side of Christ wash me; Passion of Christ strengthen me. O good Jesus hear me; Within your wounds hide me; never permit me to be separated from you. From the evil one protect me, at the hour of death call me and bid me to come to you that with your saints I may praise you forever. Amen. (St. Ignatius)

 

Maxim 99

For the understanding and the practice of the Maxims of the Great Virtue, union with God is absolutely necessary because all virtue, ours and everyone else's is nothing other than a continual influence of graces accompanied on our part by a faithful correspondence; and because these graces God communicates more or less abundantly according as one is more or less in union with him. Therefore, work tirelessly towards the total union of your soul with God.

 

Scripture References

1 John 2:12-17

Matthew 6:24

Mark 10:17-22

Luke 22:31-34

John 6:32-40;17:24-26

Colossians 3:12-17

Isaiah 43:1-5

 

Suggested Application

  • What meaning does this maxim have for me now?

Maxim 100

The virtues which will help you acquire and maintain this union and which will be a summary of your little institute are: a great and, I dare say, boundless purity of heart and intention; a very profound and genuine humility in all things and in every situation; a perfect mortification of self-love, of judgement, of will, and even (with discretion) of the senses, which should go as far as emptying self of the slightest traces of natural inclination; a very faithful obedience to all the movements of grace; a sincere simplicity, accompanied nevertheless by a great prudence; a contempt of and total detachment from all creatures and a complete stripping of self; the peace and gentleness that endures and acts without
anxiety and without overeagerness; the total self-abandonment into the hands of Providence with a dependence that is absolute; the love of solitude and of prayer,apart from the time set aside for works of zeal; the very perfect love of neighbor, which loves every kind of person purely, constantly, and equally in God and for God; finally, the pure love of God which leads souls to dwell in thought of God and makes difficult for them to live remote from his presence.

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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