Simplicity makes me happy.

Alicia Keys

Simplicity leads to freedom from issues in life that are not ultimately of major concern.

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June 23, 2021

From an old Anglican prayer:

Day by day, day by day,

Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray:

To see thee more clearly,

To love thee more dearly,

To follow thee more nearly,

Day by day

September 25, 2021

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes:

Simplicity creates margins and spaces and openness in our lives. It honors the resources of our small planet. It offers us the leisure of tasting the present moment. Simplicity asks us to let go of the tangle of wants so we can receive the simple gifts of life that cannot be taken away. Sleeping, eating, walking, giving and receiving love. . . . Simplicity invites us into these daily pleasures that can open us to God, who is present in them all.

Aging has always been about simplifying and letting go. Sooner or later we realize that we can’t manage all the stuff and activity anymore. We have to let go. The practice of letting go and embracing simplicity is one way we prepare ourselves for what is to come. One day we all will have to let go of everything—even our own breath. It will be a day of utter simplicity—a day when the importance of stuff fades. Learning to live simply prepares us for our last breath while cultivating in us the freedom to truly live here and now.

Here are some of the practices for simplifying Calhoun suggests:

  • Uncomplicate your life by choosing a few areas in which you wish to practice “letting go.” Clean out the garage, basement, closet or attic. Go on a simple vacation. Eat more simply. . . .
  • Intentionally limit your choices. Do you need six different kinds of breakfast cereal, hundreds of TV channels or four tennis rackets? What is it like to limit your choices? Does it feel free, or do want and envy surface? Talk to God about this.
  • If someone admires something of yours, give it away. Find out just how attached you are to your things. . . .
  • Make a catalog of all the gadgets you have in your home, from the dishwasher to the lawnmower. Which gadgets have made you freer? Which could you share? Which could you get rid of and not really miss?
  • Where have you complicated your life with God? Consider what actually brings you into the presence of Christ. Spend time there.

June 22, 2021

1 Corinthians 7:31 (TPT)

“We are to live as those who live in the world system but are not absorbed by it, for the world as we know it is quickly passing away.”

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.” —Lao Tzu  

E. F. Schumacher (1911–1977) said years ago, “Small is beautiful,” and many other wise people have come to know that less stuff invariably leaves room for more soul. In fact, possessions and soul seem to operate in inverse proportion to one another. Only through simplicity can we find deep contentment instead of perpetually striving and living unsatisfied. Simple living is the foundational social justice teaching of Jesus, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Dorothy Day, Pope Francis, and all hermits, mystics, prophets, and seers since time immemorial. Franciscan spirituality asks us to let go, to recognize that there is enough to go around and meet everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed.

   —Richard Rohr