Your tendency in life is to make everything difficult; whether it is your spiritual life, relationships with other people or simply deciding what to eat for dinner. Life is not intended to be a complicated endeavor in which every moment becomes a stress filled response to a continuous array of problems. In essence, life is very simple.
In the gospels Jesus often gives us very simple commands; “Let not your hearts be troubled,” (Jn 14:1) “love one another as I have loved you,” (Jn 15: 12) and “abide in my love” (Jn 15:9). These “simple” sayings of Jesus are not meant to just affect one aspect of our life. Rather, they are meant to affect our entire life and through them God is calling us away from a scattered and multi-tasking way of life to a life that is ultimately moving in only one direction-towards Him.
Even the term “spiritual life” can be misleading because it implies that our spiritual life is only one aspect of our life like exercise, work and our hobbies. Jesus calls us to a complete transformation that is our entire life and not just one aspect of it. The greater simplicity there is in our life the easier this transformation will occur.
Learn to become simple, that is, more oriented towards God with your entire existence and you will discover the great secret of the saints which prevented them from living a million different lives moving in a million different directions. Instead they lived one life well moving in one direction despite all life’s twists and turns. Hence, the fruit of a life of simplicity is holiness and union with God. Be brave enough to simplify your life and the one life you desire to live will be yours.
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Fort Worth, TX