Suggestions for Further Reading of Celebration of Discipline
I think that purity of our heart, meditation on God’s Word, prayer and being honest to ourselves are the most important elements of the inward reality of simplicity. Our chastened heart is conscious about lust and impurity which keeps us from doing evil. At the same time, focusing on God’s word and prayer liberates us from our own thoughts of malevolence. For this practice, we should be honest to ourselves. This linear process develops our inward reality.
Conversely, the most important elements of an outward life-style of simplicity are integrity and honesty. We should refrain from the lust of possessing status and showing off our worldly positions and influence to other people. Giving to needy people is another important outward life-style. Providing our goods to others also becomes a proof of our outward life-style. Continue reading Monday Devotion: Celebrating Simplicity
The Christian discipline of simplicity is an outward life-style as a consequence of inward reality which reflects inward simplicity of man.
Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity which liberates us outwardly.
Simplicity rejoices in the gracious provision from God. Simplicity provides us the positive perspective toward the material possession.
Of all the spiritual disciplines, simplicity is the most visible and, therefore, the most open to corruption.
The focal point of simplicity is to seek the kingdom of God.
The inward reality of simplicity involves a life of joyful unconcern for possessions.
Simplicity means the freedom to trust God at all time and for all needs of our life.
Reflecting on Simplicity
The discipline of simplicity is really visible to others. Our outward life-style is the mirror of our inward being and our spiritual maturity. Thence, whatever we do or say reflects our heart because whatever is in our heart comes out from mouth. It is hard enough have our dominion over our own tongue to control our speech. In this fallen world, honesty hardly prevails. But all these can be restored through God’s redemptive work on the Cross. As Thomas Kelly calls God the “divine center”, so he is. We can pretend no longer as well-civilized or proclaim self-righteous apart from his saving God’s saving grace. He knows all about us. We cannot overcome our lust for status and position by our own understanding, knowledge, and endeavors. Only God can help us to come out of covetousness of such possessions.
Coming out of comfort zone is not possible until our inward focus is not in God. The spiritual gift of giving to other people and restraining from showing off our possession are only made possible when we are convicted of our own daily dependence upon God (Matt. 6:13). In this showy era, God wants us to come out of comfort zone and materialistic world to witness that God wants us to live by simple child-like faith and simple life as Jesus lived. Continue reading Monday Devotion: The Discipline of Simplicity
Clare of Assisi (1194 – 1253)
Background and Context
Clare of Assisi was born to a noble family in Assisi in 1194. At the age of seventeen, she gave her life to the Lord in 1211. Francis of Assisi was an influential clerk of God at his time. Many lives were touched by his life, and Clare was also one of them who were converted under the influence of Francis of Assisi.
Quite after her conversion, Clare left her parental home. She received haven from Francis on March 18-19, 1212. The Church of Portiuncula provided her shelter. Clare’s conversion became a channel to bring her sister Agnes to be saved in the Lord. Clare’s mother and her sister, Beatrice also added into number of believers. Later, Clare founded a community called “Poor Clares”. She devoted her life for people living under poverty, simplicity, and service. In 1215 – 16, Clare’s community received grant from Pope Innocent III to take vow of poverty.
She was widely recognized for her holy living and influence. It was believed that her holy devotion to Eucharist also influenced Assisi from assaulting Saracens at that time. However, she became ill and confined to bed until her death, she involved in the community she founded. She struggled for approval of Rule of her community, but the Rule was only approved on August 9, 1253 just two days before her death. Besides, Roman Catholic Church also honored her as a saint after her death. Continue reading Monday Devotion: Clare of Assisi on Simplicity