40 Suggestions that Would Help All of Us be Faithful Orthodox and Pious Christians

If someone is teaching you outside of the things which the holy catholic Church received from the Holy Apostles, Fathers and Synods and preserved up till now, do not listen to him..., close your ears." (St. John Damascene)

We as Orthodox Christians must return towards the path of righteous faith, as well as fully spiritually participate in it with all our minds, hearts, and souls.  I would like humbly to make the following suggestions to you that would help all of us be most faithful Orthodox and pious Christians as we all ourselves struggle for our salvation and that we will indeed have a good and great defense before the great judgement seat of our Christ our Lord:

1)  Participate in loving prayer of the Divine Services of your parish Church, attend frequently Vespers, Matins, and the Holy Divine Liturgy, and when the Church calls you for further prayer.

2) Prepare yourself to go frequently to Holy Confession with your local parish priest, and read the prayers before Holy Communion, and give Thanks to our Lord God afterwards.

3) Live up to the prescibed fasting rules during the weekdays as we fast on both Wednesdays, and Fridays, as well as of midnight the night before the Holy Divine Liturgy. In addition follow the fasting periods in which the Orthodox Church has offered.  We fast for forty days in preparation for the birth of our Lord, we fast for forty days for our Lord's Holy Resurrection, we fast for a period of time for the Apostles, and for the Mother of God for fifteeen days.  Follow your Orthodox Church calendar in this regards to note when you should fast, and when you are free from fasting.

4) Acquire to understand fully the teachings of our Holy Orthodox Faith from the teachings of the Holy Apostles, and the early Holy Fathers of the Church, and live within these guidelines to defend and share with others this loving faith. Seek out those who lived and struggled a most ascetical life and who have given us guidelines on the path towards our salvation. Find out what would the Holy Fathers say about the life of our Church, and about the issues we face from day to day.  It's spiritually impossible to live a full Orthodox life without the Holy Fathers of our Church.  Learn who they were, how humbly they lived,  and what they taught us!

5) Learn about the lives of the saints of our Church, as well as the holy martyrs, and the ascetics of our faith.  Read as frequently as possible (almost daily) about these lives, as a means of spiritual guidance for you and a means for you to follow their loving example for us all!

6) Study the teachings of the early Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the lesser councils, as to what has been expressed and taught to us about the teachings about our Saviour Jesus Christ, both His divine and human nature, as well as the teachings of the Mother of God. Learn how these Ecumenical councils developed the guide lines on the books of Holy Scripture, and the Nicene Creed we confess, and other teachings of our Church.

7) Do your morning and evening prayers as a family, and on an individual basis daily!  Pray to our Lord God during the day as well.  Find time for yourself to pray frequently and often.  Learn about prayer and seek it out so that you can find God!  Seek out the teachings of the "Jesus Prayer", also known as the "Prayer of the heart", seek guidance from not only the many rich spiritual texts we have available, but also seek out more information from your spiritual father, or have him suggest further guidance for you. Make prostrations to the floor frequently, and afterwards stay on the floor with tears in prayer for others who need our prayers, pray as did St. Seraphim of Sarov before your holy icons, and lift up your hands to the heavens as did the Holy Prophet and God-Seerer Moses, and other saints. Take a ride by yourself and go to the mountains to find even more private time for prayer and behold the spiritual beauty of our God.

Or take a walk by yourself through the woods and pray. Do this often as possible. Weep in your prayers, and learn about tears, keep your head bowed down and fold your hands cross wise in humility before our Lord God. Fold your hands to pray, pray, and pray.

8) Find time within your busy day to try to learn more about your faith and search out the many books now available that can quide you on the right path of your Holy Orthodox Christian faith. Read humbly about those who have confessed our faith, and lived it daily, read frequently about the lives of the Saints and you will be spiritually rewarded.  Know the life of your loving patron saint, and be an expert in this regards to tell others about this precious God-loving life and good works.  Share this information with others, and teach your children about the faith in a childlike manner.

9) Know that the Ten Commandments are important for us to live and to follow. Read what the Holy Fathers had written about these Ten Commandments and seek from an Orthodox point of view their meanings for not only yourself but also for your beloved children.

10) Pick up and read Holy Scriptures daily, and struggle to read both the Old and New Testament and the books of the Apochraphal.

11) Make a pilgrimage to either an Orthodox monastery or a convent.  Make a serious decision to visit the Holy Land, or to go to Holy Mt. Athos.  When you travel make plans to visit the local Orthodox Church's and monasteries in the area, and call the monastery and parish that you would like to stop and pray.

12) Seek out the teachings of our faith about the virtues and the teachings that lead you on your path towards salvation, in both seeking your salvation on a daily basis and living your faith as a good example.  Seek truth, and learn that truth will guide towards your salvation. Remember humbly truth is bitter, but it's truth!  Have hope, and above all have faith in our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Remember to endure, and learn more about endurance, as did the lives of the Holy Martyrs of our loving Church.

13) Love your children, respect your parents, and be honorable to your relatives, as well as your Godparents. Love your neighbor and care for their needs. Judge no one, and let our Lord God take care of this for all you have to do is pray for those in desperate need of your loving prayers.

14) Forgive, forgive, forgive and learn how to forgive!

15) Struggle, struggle, and struggle with love for God and His Church!

16) Roar like a lion, but be mostly meek as a lamb!

17) Pray for the living, and pray for the departed in the Lord!  Keep list of these names, and bring it often to the priest to pray with you.

18) Seek to be saintly and prepare yourself spiritually.  Love peace and seek spiritually inner peace with our Lord Jesus Christ. When war is at our door step and destruction, cry out for peace, peace, and never cease in this regards in spite of what might seem a failure at that time. Keep knocking on the door for peace again and again!

19) Love God and love one another!  Love your faith and live your faith!  Know your faith, and share your faith with others, as well as defend it and speak of it's truths. Once again I repeat truth is bitter, but it's truth. Christ our Lord is truth, and Holy Orthodoxy is the same truth.

20) Learn about the inner peace of our Lord God and live for this peace.

21) Live the pious Christian life of Beatitude!  Remember almost by heart in remembrance of these spiritually rewarding Beatitudes. "Blessed are the meek...."   Learn to be meek also.

22) Feed the homeless and help the homeless in any way to get on their feet to lead a productive life.  Learn that your responsibility is not to convert them, but to live a true Christian life. Reach out in caring for others when they ask for your help. Be a volunteer, and do it with Christian love and expect no reward. The poor and most unfortunate need food, a warm blanket, and shelter, as well as your love, give one of your blankets away, give some of your extra food to someone else, and suggest where one can find shelter and assist in this on a temporary basis. Pray for them and do not cry out that it's their fault, as being poor is a horrific struggle to be what all human beings desire to get back on their feet once again. Aren't we all ourselves at the door step at times in being homeless?  Afterwards do not seek any rewards, and deny you did anything before man, as our Lord God will reward you most humbly. Help sponsor a dinner in your local parish and remember to when it's Wednesday or Friday prepare fasting foods. When it's not a fasting day remember that those who are homeless and hungry do not eat as often as yourself.

23) Avoid pride and be humble!

24) Do nothing for honor, and when you are caught doing something good express the following: It's all for the Glory of our God!  Or say: Glory be to God for all things!

25) Pray for all and judge no one, leave that up to God!

26) When you pray learn to weep in these humble prayers with all your mind, heart, and soul!

27) Struggle and learn to struggle more!

28) Look for Christ our Lord in others, and speak from the heart to the heart before you!

29) Seek to cleanse your sins, and weep before our Lord God that you desire not to sin in the same manner again.

30) Pick up your Cross, and then pick it up again!

31) When you are ill seek out your parish priest to anoint you with the gift of the Holy Spirit that was performed on Holy Wednesday at the Holy Unction services.

32) Be forbearing always!

33) Listen to the truth as it might at times seem bitter to you.

34) Learn about the Creed we confess during the Divine Services and in your daily prayers, seek to fully understand the Creed, and learn that it's a confession of our Holy Orthodox Faith and it's teachings.  If anyone ask you about our faith refer to this Creed frequently.

35) Establish icon corners and places for your holy icons in your home. Keep a vigil light burning fervently before your loving icons, and take oil from it anointing yourself and your beloved children.

36) Respect your environment and plant a tree, and put flowers in the ground and see the beauty of our Lord God and His creation.  Give room for nature to dwell, as we desire to dwell on this earth in humble preparations for the Kingdom of our Lord God.

37) Have your house blessed by your parish priest every year.

38) Go to Holy Confession and ask your local parish priest guidelines in preparation for this Holy Mystery.

39) Learn that Holy Marriage is a blessing from God and constantly keep telling each other of your respected love, and learn to talk to each other, as well as the members of your family, and let Christ our Lord reign in your home and hearts. Pray together, and go to Church together, and struggle altogether!

40) Give always Glory, Honor, and Worship to God  to the Most Holy Trinity, One in Essence, and Undivided - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen!

"The Church of Christ is not comprised of the many, but of those who keep the correct and saving confession of faith, even if they are few"  (St. Theodore Studite)

Excerpt from: http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/theantichrist.htm