Monday, 25 November 2013

Simple living and Christian spirituality


For me, simplicity is one of the joys of the Christian faith.

"Look at the birds of the air" Jesus said, "they don't sow or reap and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?" "See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon (the richest king of Israel) in all his splendour was dressed like one of these."


How many people in world history built palaces and castles which in the end became their prisons. For all the comforts material possessions can afford they can never buy happiness. We struggle through life, spending our days on trying to get more and better things and all the while we neglect the simple things in life. Yet it is as if God is saying, "Look I've given you so much to make you happy and it's all free."  Take time to watch a sunset, a flower, a tree, a river, a beach, Spend time to have a conversation with someone you love.


St Francis of Assisi sat down to eat some dry bread with his friend Masseo next to a stream. A large rock served as a table. They had been walking through villages telling with words and actions of their love for Jesus. As they sat down, Francis seemed to be in rapture; "brother Masseo, we don't deserve such kindness". He said it again and again:  "brother Masseo, we don't deserve such kindness".  At long last Masseo turned and said to his friend: "We've got no table, no table cloth, no servants to serve us, no silver and only this dry bread for food". "Brother Masseo" said Francis, "all that we have was given to us by no human hand but by God".


The Bishop of Assisi once said to Francis, “I think your life is too hard, too rough. You don’t possess anything in this world.” And Francis replied, “If we had possessions, we would need weapons to defend them. They are frequently a source of quarrels and lawsuits. Possessions usually prove to be an obstacle in one’s search for God. That is why we do not desire temporal goods.”



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