The Road to Simplicity
The Road to Simplicity
In our age, the desire for “more” is often found in the hearts of countless men and women. Greed and the love of material goods have usurped God’s throne in our inner hearts and given great oppressive rule over our minds. It was Jesus who told us,
Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? – Mt 6:25
We also have such a busy and stress filled life with the hustle and bustle of appointments, work, home duties, and even duties to oneself! Drama and stress can over-take even the most vigilant to maintain their peace.
Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. – Mt 6:34
For we have encumbered ourselves with the cares of this world that often chokes out Christ’s words of peace and trust in Him. So let’s get back to the basics and begin our path with Christ on the road to simplicity.
In order that we may live a life of simplicity, we need to react to the world in such a way that would merit simplicity. This is why the practice of virtues is not only a holy way of life but also a practical way for obtaining peace. That no matter what comes, we should trust in God our savior that all things that happen come together for the benefit of those who love Him. We must begin this journey by understanding that often time our very own selfishness is what stops us from obtaining the peace and trust in God that we so desperately need. This is why we must practice what St. Alphonsus De Ligouri called, “Uniformity with God’s Will”. There is a passage in this small but powerful book that can help us understand how to abandon our prideful will so that we may adopt God’s eternal will for us,
“Cesarius points up what we have been saying by offering this incident in the life of a certain
monk: Externally his religious observance was the same as that of the other monks, but he had
attained such sanctity that the mere touch of his garments healed the sick. Marveling at these deeds,
since his life was no more exemplary than the lives of the other monks, the superior asked him one
day what was the cause of these miracles.
He replied that he too was mystified and was at a loss how to account for such happenings.
“What devotions do you practice?” asked the abbot. He answered that there was little or nothing
special that he did beyond making a great deal of willing only what God willed, and that God had
given him the grace of abandoning his will totally to the will of God.
“Prosperity does not lift me up, nor adversity cast me down,” added the monk. “I direct all
my prayers to the end that God’s will may be done fully in me and by me.” “That raid that our
enemies made against the monastery the other day, in which our stores were plundered, our granaries
put to the torch and our cattle driven off —did not this misfortune cause you any resentment?”
queried the abbot.
“No, Father,” came the reply. “On the contrary, I returned thanks to God—as is my custom
in such circumstances—fully persuaded that God does all things, or permits all that happens, for
his glory and for our greater good; thus I am always at peace, no matter what happens.” Seeing
such uniformity with the will of God, the abbot no longer wondered why the monk worked so many
miracles31.” – pg 10 – Uniformity with God’s Will.
Noticed the bold and underlined parts of the story. That our prayer should be instead to abandon our will and take up God’s. That it should be “done fully in me and by me” and because of this great sacrifice of the will the monk is “…always at peace, no mater what happens,” as God shall repay all things with His justice and mercy. What peace!? What joy this monk must have to be content in trusting Him in all things. This is why chiefly, beyond every virtue we may practice, we must begin our path to the practice of holiness by praying for the graces to trust in His divine will for us. When we do this, all things become simple. It is as the chief sin that leads to all other forms of depravity is pride. Humility, being pride’s exact opposite, naturally abandons itself to the devotion of God’s holy will and since humility is the foundation virtue, all else that is holy may flow forth like a spring of life giving water.
Do away with the cares and lusts of the world, for they are already beginning to rot and fade away. Take care of the things that matter in recourse to holiness and the pursuit of perfection.
Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. – Mt 5:48