My Dear Parishioners:
One of my goals for sharing my writing is to keep myself accountable. It fills the role of a good priest friend who keeps telling me to stick to the fundamentals and to do the little things right. I’m absolutely convinced that the best advice for living well is simple. We all need reminders (including myself) that life is worth living and we sometimes need a gentle push in the right direction to live well with God and our neighbors. In the daily grind of life, we sometimes lose our way. We default to the path of least resistance. We give in to immediate gratification instead of living in a better way of being. I am no saint, no sage of Clifton (as Msgr. Flanagan is!), just a simple parish priest who is going to share his vision. A vison of a simple life lived more intentionally and relationally. That’s it. Nothing I am going to say is earth-shattering. The power isn’t in the advice, it’s in the doing. It’s in taking hold of these simple ideas and taking them seriously. Treat them with the utmost seriousness, and I can assure you – from personal experience – that your life will be changed in time.

1) Take simple ideas seriously.
2) Keep all your endeavors as simple as possible. No extra happiness is awarded in life for taking the most creative route to your destination.
3) Set hard limits on most pleasure. Don’t let yourself be destroyed by your desires.
4) Relationships are the only pleasure that grows with exposure. Friendship is the only wealth that matters.
5) Do the real thing. Stop planning, reading, and learning about it. Get started before you feel ready.
6) Find a way to clear your mind and sleep. Even the best plans are derailed by a lack of rest.
7) One of the most practical ways to love others in your daily life is by being reliable and responsive.
8) Build new habits by starting so small that failure isn’t possible.
9) Do the hardest thing first. The little stuff will usually take care of itself.
10) It’s not rocket science, it’s consistency. Keep showing up and doing the work, especially when you cannot see the results. If results were instant,
everyone would be doing it.
11) Be decisive. Not deciding now, almost always, means a more complicated or painful decision later.
12) Spend less than you earn.
13) Get really good at something. You’ll be useful to others, and this is good for both you & them.
14) Enjoy the journey. Don’t be in such a rush to a day older.
15) Exercise every day.
16) Spend each day trying to be a bit wiser than when you woke up.
17) Be patient. No matter your competence or the intensity of your effort, some things take time.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you. I have found them a great help and comfort in my life. Be assured of my prayers!

Fr. Monteleone

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