Every ten days, my computer pops up a reminder to read one of three lists of maxims on the Christian life that I’ve picked up over the last quarter-century. This list, which I excerpted from Fr. Stephen Freeman, really got to me today for its brevity and profundity:
- First, live as though in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God has been inaugurated into the world and the outcome of history has already been determined. (Quit worrying)
- Second, love people as the very image of God and resist the temptation to improve them.
- Third, refuse to make economics the basis of your life. Your job is not even of secondary importance.
- Fourth, quit arguing about politics as though the political realm were the answer to the world’s problems. It gives it power that is not legitimate and enables a project that is anti-God.
- Fifth, learn to love your enemies. God did not place them in the world for us to fix or eliminate. If possible, refrain from violence.
- Sixth, raise the taking of human life to a matter of prime importance and refuse to accept violence as a means to peace. Every single life is a vast and irreplaceable treasure.
- Seventh, cultivate contentment rather than pleasure. It will help you consume less and free you from slavery to your economic masters.
- Eighth, as much as possible, think small. You are not in charge of the world. Love what is local, at hand, personal, intimate, unique, and natural. It’s a preference that matters.
- Ninth, learn another language. Very few things are better at teaching you about who you are not.
- Tenth, be thankful for everything, remembering that the world we live in and everything in it belongs to God.
Source: The Violence of Modernity