Sebastian Gomes and I recently came across a diary entry of Pope John XXIII entitled “Six maxims of perfection” in his autobiography Journal of a Soul. Some of you may recall that from the age of fourteen until his death at the age of eighty-two, Pope John XXIII kept a journal where he recorded his growth in holiness. Elected Pope at the age of seventy-eight, he impressed the world with the breadth of his mind but also with his simplicity and his will to be at the service of others. In the lead-up to the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, we thought you’d find his thoughts as inspiring and delightful as we did. Our work on The Church Alive series, which will premiere on October 11, 2012, is deeply inspired by John XXIII.
1. Desire only to be virtuous and holy, and so be pleasing to God.
2. Direct all things, thoughts as well as actions, to the increase, the service and the glory of Holy Church.
3. Recognize that I have been set here by God, and therefore remain perfectly serene about all that happens, not only as regards myself but also with regard to the Church, continuing to work and suffer with Christ, for her good.
4. Entrust myself at all times to Divine Providence.
5. Always acknowledge my own nothingness.
6. Always arrange my day in an intelligent and orderly manner.