Friday, January 1, 2010

Ten Point Program for Orthodox Life

As we begin a new year, it's a fitting time to take stock of our spiritual lives. The Baptismal Covenant and the Litany of Penitence in the Ash Wednesday liturgy (both in The Book of Common Prayer) are excellent resources for making such inventory. I've also come across a helpful Eastern Orthodox resource called the "Ten Point Program for Orthodox Life." Here it is:

1. Praying Daily: Have a regular prayer rule that includes morning and evening prayer.
2. Worshiping and Participating in Sacraments: Attend and participate in the Divine Liturgy receiving Holy Communion regularly as well as regular participation in Confession.
3. Honoring the Liturgical Cycle of the Church: Follow the seasons of the church and participate in the fasts and feasts of the Church.
4. Using the Jesus Prayer: Repeat the Holy name whenever possible throughout the day or night.
5. Slowing Down and Ordering Your Life: Set priorities and reduce the stress and friction caused by a hurried life.
6. Being Watchful: Give full attention to what you are doing at the moment.
7. Taming the Passions: Overcome your habits, attachment to your likes and dislikes, and learn to practice the virtues..

8. Putting Others First: Free yourself from your selfishness and find joy in helping others.
9. Spiritual Fellowship: Spend time regularly with other Orthodox Christians for support and inspiration.:
10. Reading the Scriptures and Holy Fathers: Be inspired by the lessons of the Holy Scriptures, the wisdom of the Holy Fathers and the lives of the Saints of the Church.

You can also download a 32-page booklet that goes into these points in greater detail.

Thanks to Deacon Haralambos (Charles) Joiner of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Greenville, SC for bringing this to our attention on his blog Orthodox Way of Life.


The Underground Pewster said...

Instead of New Year's resolutions, perhaps it is time to update our "rule of life." This is a good resource, thanks

Derek the Ænglican said...

This is great! I'd only change one word...

In number 7 it recommends that you "Overcome you habits..." as if habits are necessarily bad. The whole point of a Rule, though, is to form Christ-centered and Gospel oriented habits. Perhaps "Transform" would be a better choice than "overcome".

Bryan Owen said...

An excellent point, Derek. Habits may be morally neutral, morally virtuous, or morally wrong. We do well to either "overcome" or "transform" the latter while cultivating those that are virtuous.