Dear Friends in Christ,
I always wanted to have a list of Family Rules. I had imagined making them when the kids were little and then updating it when the kids were older. It would have been interesting to see what they valued when they were young. Alas, the time flew by and my children are older now. When I talked to them about it, they wanted all of us to write our own Life Rules and then post them on the wall. It ended up being a really fun, inspiring, and surprising exercise! Everyone had to write at least five Life Rules but you were welcome to write more. The rules had to be a complete sentence, not just a word, like Kindness. When everyone was finished, I read a family member’s Life Rule and had everyone guess who wrote it. It was fascinating that we often did not guess correctly! People who we thought would write very little, wrote a lot and vice versa. Also, the content was eye opening to what others found most important and dear.
I encourage you to take a little time and make your Family Rules and/or Life Rules. You can do this as a single person and maybe ask a few of your close friends to do it as well and then share them with each other. A married couple can do this as individuals or together. Start now, you will not regret it and it will provide a powerful memory and inspiration for you, your family, and your friends.
Here are few Life Rules from our lists:
1. Maintain awareness of other’s needs and feelings, for we all affect each other.
2. Always assume the best in people, even when you do not understand why they do what they do. You can only control yourself.
3. Live with joy, not fear. Replace worry with prayer. Go outside your comfort zone.
4. Humility and charity are the greatest gifts you can give the world and yourself.
5. Trust God at all times. Read the Bible and good religious books regularly.
6. Enjoy every beautiful, joyful, or wondrous event or moment when it happens. Also, make them happen! You do not know what tomorrow brings, so enjoy the gifts God gave you today.
7. Start and end each day with prayer and even more in between. Especially when you are discouraged, run to the Lord.
8. Be kind to others, for we all could use a friend.
9. Always be your spouse’s friend, advocate, and anchor. It is a great gift. Pray with them and for them.
10. True forgiveness is essential for peace.
It would also be enlightening to ask grandparents and great-grandparents! They have a different perspective having lived through very challenging times and their years have given them great wisdom. They are the world’s most precious gifts.
My husbands’ grandma, Vivian is 103! She wore high heels at her 100th birthday party and danced the Alley Cat! Her Life Rules are:
1. Don’t worry about anything, things will eventually work out.
2. Be active in your church.
My Mom who is 85 and escaped with my Dad from Hungary in 1956:
1. Pray and work.
2. “As long as I live, I hope.” From Archbishop Prohaszka of Hungary
My 90 year old friend Jerry:
1. Talk to the Lord (His door is open 24/7) Don’t be bashful, He knows what you are thinking. The Holy Spirit has all the answers. Pray-Do not worry before going to bed-Make all decisions when wide awake and rested.
2. Love for others- Look and listen for opportunities to help others. Do something in the name of Jesus. It’s like giving Christmas presents every day.
A 92 year old patient I took care of:
1. Always have something to look forward to each day.
I found this topic so encouraging that I looked for Rules of Life from the Saints and found some beautiful Rules from St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast day we celebrated two days ago!. You can also click the links for St. Padre Pio’s and St. Mother Teresa’s below. The most important, holy, and meaningful Rules of Life are from our Lord in the Bible, such as the Ten Commandments, and the Gospels which includes the Beatitudes.
St. Anthony’s 5 Rules
1.SEEK SILENCE; & FOLLOW A DEVOTED SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Retreat from the loud and constant noise of the world for a few minutes each day, so that we can try to hear God’s voice. In silence He shall teach us everything. Also, we must promote our relationship with God by connecting with Him through such avenues as prayer, meditation, fasting, and the study or reading of the Bible and religious books.
2. DO NOT BE ANGRY; & TRY NOT TO DISPUTE WITH OTHERS
As a member of The Franciscan Order, Anthony strived to imitate Jesus and follow the Gospel teachings. A summary of one of Jesus’ teaching says that being angry or in a dispute with someone does not bring us closer to God but rather keeps us in a feeling of separation, and therefore, we should reconcile as soon as possible; for whoever is angry with his brethren shall be in danger of judgment. (Matthew 5:22-26).
3.SPEAK EVIL OF NO PERSON – Anthony believed that “our tongue should only be used to praise God, preach God words, & encourage others to turn back to God. It should never be used to say anything unkind to anyone.”
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity (Proverbs 21:23); for “the tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21).
Therefore, only speak words that will encourage and build others up. All praise be to God.
4. BE GENTLE; SHOWING KINDNESS TO ALL – St. Anthony is called the “gentlest of saints”. He was always described as a man who was kind, compassionate, and a lover of the poor, who never judged anyone. He was not physically strong, but rather described as frail, due to his intense ascetics and fasting. And as a reminder of his gentleness he is most often shown holding or cradling the child form of Jesus.
5. LOVE: St. Anthony held 2 of Jesus’ teachings very close to his heart:
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; & love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
- “A new command I give you: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
St Anthony, always practiced what he preached, and therefore his entire life was a testament to these teachings. He not only displayed an intense love for and devotion to God; but also always displayed a fervent desire for the salvation of all souls. St Anthony never wanted any soul to perish, but greatly desired that all souls be led back into the arms of their loving Creator. From Heedthespirit.com
St. Mother Teresa’s Rules for Humility: https://www.ncregister.com/blog/armstrong/mother-teresas-15-tips-to-help-you-become-more-humble
St. Padre Pio’s Rules of Life: https://catholicexchange.com/st-padre-pios-5-point-rule-life
God bless you and keep you close to Him! I am praying for you!
I would love to hear your Rules of Life! We can all learn and grow from each other. Please send them to me at: Godismyglue@gmail.com. I will only use your first name. You may see them in one of my next posts! 🙂