One of my favorite pieces of modern Orthodox writing is the piece 55 Maxims for Christian Living by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko. The full list is quite a thing to take in, but here are a few gems that I always come back to.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
So many times I pray only out of convenience, placing it as the last item on my agenda, rather than the first thing in my mind. I nearly always can pray more than I want to.
24. Be totally honest, first of all, with yourself.
If we are deluded within ourselves, our eyes are clouded and we do not have a clear vision of our place in the world and the work that God has placed us here for.
40. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
If we don’t “keep our eyes on our own paper,” we begin to fantasize about what others’ lives are really like, rather than truly listening to each others’ humanity and having full compassion with ourselves and others. It also blinds us to that for which we most need repentance.
51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
It’s a journey with no oasis, and keeping the destination in mind is the only way to proceed. If you let up your guard, you’ll slip & fall for sure.
What a blessing, to be fully reminded of what we most need to do.