As a way of breaking open the Beatitudes, I’d like to share with you the first five of the Ten Commandments for Daily Living that Saint John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli) wrote for himself and which I think are a practical application of the Beatitudes:
- 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 behaviour; 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 next 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 10 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.
Pope John XXIII at bedtime would put his trust in God and say, “I’ve done my best I could in your service this day, Oh Lord. I’m going to bed. It’s your church. Take care of it!”
Stay tuned for part 2 in a fortnight.
Fr Michael Smith SJ