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Nazareth 5

Simplicity

Journey with Colin: Nazareth 5- Simplicity

Happy the simple heart

In the Gospel, one of the first words of Christ is this: "happy the simple of heart". Yes, happy the one who is moving towards simplicity, of heart and of life.

A simple heart seeks to live the present moment,
to receive each day as God's today.

Does not the spirit of simplicity reveal itself in joyful serenity and in gaiety?

A simple heart does not pretend to understand everything about the faith all on its own. It says to itself: what I grasp in a little way, others understand better and will help me to continue on the journey.

Simplifying one's life allows one to share with the most deprived, with a view to calm the pain wherever there is illness, poverty, hunger... our personal prayer is itself simple, do we think that we need many words in order to pray? No. It can happen that a few words, sometimes awkwardly expressed, are enough to confide everything to God – our fears and our hopes.

Abandoning ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we will find a way leading from anxiety to confidence. We say to him: 'Holy Spirit, allow us to turn to you at each moment. So often we forget that you are living in us, that you are praying in us, that you are loving in us. Your presence in us is confidence and constant forgiveness".

Yes, the Holy Spirit sets alight in us a glow. No matter how pale it may be, it awakens in us a desire for God. And the simple desire for God is already prayer.

Prayer does not draw us away from the world's concerns.
On the contrary, nothing is more responsible than prayer:
the more we live a simple and humble prayer,
the more we are led to love
and to express this love in our life.

Where do we find the simplicity that is necessary for living the Gospel?

A word of Christ can enlighten us. One day he says to his disciples: "let the children come to me, the realities of God belong to those who are like them".

Who can adequately express what certain children are able to communicate by their confidence?

So, we would like to ask God:
"God, who loves us, make us humble, give us a great simplicity in our prayer, in our relationships with others, in our welcoming..."

Brother Roger, A future of Peace,
Letter from Taize,' 2005

Fr. Jean-Claude Colin"We must hold strongly to the spirit that presided over the birth of the Society (of Mary)... and what is that spirit?

It is that of the Blessed Virgin.

A spirit of modesty, of humility, of prudence, of simplicity, of discretion."

Founder speaks 190, 1

 

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"You have been taught,
o man, what is good,
what the Lord
asks of you:
nothing other than
to act justly,
love tenderly
and walk humbly
with your God."

Micah 6:8

Exercises
for personal reflection
or group sharing

From the text of Pope John XXIII:

Just for Today

Just for today, I will try to live my day without seeking to resolve the problem of my whole life.

Just for today, I will take the greatest care to behave and to act in a courteous manner; I will criticise no one, I will attempt to correct or to dictate to anyone at all, except for myself.

Just for today, I will be happy with the certainty that I have been created for happiness, not only in the other world, but also in this one.

Just for today, I will devote ten minutes to reading a good book, remembering that, just as food is necessary for the life of the body, so a good text is necessary for the life of the soul.

Just for today, I will carry out at least one thing that I do not feel like doing, and if I am insulted, I will not show it.

Just for today, I will bend to circumstances, without requiring that they adjust to all my wants...

Just for today, I will firmly believe – even if circumstances attest the opposite – that God's Providence takes care of me as if nothing else existed in the world.

Just for today, I will not fear anything. And, especially, I will not be afraid to appreciate what is beautiful and to believe in goodness.

• Copy the sentences from John XXIII's text beforehand.

Each member of the group receives at random one of these sentences – or we ask of each one to choose the phrase that speaks most clearly to him/her.

Each one take the time to reflect personally before sharing his/her reactions to the sentence he/she has received.

• Inspired by the spirit of this prayer, write your own prayer:
"Just for today...."