Aspiration: aim, longing, end, plan, hope. Easily distracted by shiny interests and experiencing the fragmentation that is characteristic of a person living (even marginally) in the culture of New Now Better More, I must regularly pause and remember: Why am I here? What am I for? Below are my guiding principles. I give voice to them here in the event that they might be a useful starting place as you ask these questions. May God grant us mercy as we journey on our way.
- Acquire the mind of Christ and seek unity with God.
- Live a peaceful life of prayer and quiet service.
- Be diligent in care and good work.
- Every human person in your path is made in God's image. Love them by listening, encouraging, showing gratitude, and helping as best you can. Pray for each one.
- Ask for eyes to see all human persons as Christ sees them, regardless of whether they are loved or unloved by the world, and ask for courage to walk alongside each one without fear, in love and mutual brokenness, tending to their needs as I am able and showing mercy, as a fellow patient in the hospital of souls.
- Regarding food, clothing, tools, and personal possessions: seek to obtain only what's needed and that which does not enslave or exploit.
Do not resent. Do not react. Keep inner stillness.
Inner stillness is a focus on the awareness of the presence of God in the depths of our heart.
- Tend to the healing and care of God's creation, minimizing your own greed, comfort-seeking, and carelessness that harms it.
- Be the bee, seeking what is beautiful, good, and true.
- Eat simple food with mindfulness and gratitude.
- Prepare your soul always for the hour of death.
- Live ever mindful that you are wholly dependent upon God for all things.
Guiding Principles: Food & Eating
- Be content with simple, nutritious food.
- Choose food that inflicts minimal harm on human persons (including yourself!), land, and creatures, mindful of the death required to sustain your life.
- Eat with prayer and gratitude.
- Remember that food is for the body, that you might pray, fast, love others, and have strength to complete your work with peace, energy, and clarity of mind.
"True fasting lies in rejecting evil, holding one's tongue, suppressing one's hatred and banishing one's lust, evil words, lying and betrayal of vows." -St. Basil