I recently heard a priest refer to a “Decalogue for Daily Living” that Pope John XXIII created for himself based on the Beatitudes and the 10 Commandments. I looked it up to get the details, and have found it to be really helpful and inspiring. I’ve mentioned before that my faith and closeness to God increased profoundly after I worked on purifying my heart; I went through the motions of being loving, kind, charitable, etc., even when the emotions weren’t really there — and the results were dramatic.
Because of this experience I think that incorporating the points from this Decalogue for Daily Living can be really powerful. It offers practical, concrete actions we can take to purify our hearts to make room for God. In this season of new beginnings and fresh starts, I thought I’d post it in case anyone else finds it helpful.
- Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
- Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
- Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
- Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
- Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
- Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
- Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and it my feelings are hurt, I will make sure no one notices.
- Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
- Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
- Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.
As I attempt to incorporate each of these ten actions into daily life, I’ve found that that last part of #8 is particularly powerful: I’d never thought of “hastiness” and “indecision” as being all that bad…but now that it’s been called to my attention I realize that hastiness and indecision (particularly the latter) are largely responsible for my frequent feelings of being overwhelmed by household tasks.
Anyway, I hope that others might find these to be inspiring, helpful ideas for daily life!
Thanks to Lisa at Unexpected Journey for typing it up so I could just copy and paste it. 🙂
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