Live a Simple Life

Live a Simple Life

Return to our Way of Life

To live monastically is to live a simple life. Let us find ourselves increasing in contentment and gratitude for what we have. Let us prayerfully expect to have, expect to get, and do less.

Living in a city pulls our mind and heart away from contentment. We must actively attend to what is pulling on our hearts. We are invited to discover the dissatisfaction and longings within ourselves. In response, we can choose to invite God into the fullness of our lived experience. Jesus is one that we can depend on. He will help us resist the desires and pressures for more in life. We need to live for the kingdom, which is not yet here. We long for this kingdom until that kingdom comes.

With time, we will come to understand that we have been given more than we deserve. May we come to this understanding on this side of eternity. Within the goodness and abundance of creation, our God has seen that our needs are met. We often experience our needs being met with abundance and generosity. In all things, our God is abundantly generous with us. The vastness of this divine generosity will overwhelm you as you rest with it.

The vastness of God’s love is undeserved and humbling. As we dwell and rest within God’s presence, our whole being intermingles with His fullness. It is within our love for God that our feet are set on the path to living simply. What can satisfy us more than being in God’s presence? There is nothing created that compares with the Creator. Living to be present with our Creator cultivates and tends our gratitude towards God.

Our journey into a more simple life helps us discover things about ourselves. Living an increasingly ascetic life is a historic trait of monastic living. Living more simply places this part of our lives within the monastic tradition. As we simplify our lives, we are invited to do with less. For some of us, it will be less than we are able to afford. Along this journey, we should not disregard pleasures and blessings but should enjoy them in moderation.

In place of a life of poverty, we are called to live a simple life.

Invitations to Engage

  • Ask God to help you see His abundance and generosity in your life.
  • Reflect on and inspect the desires to expect, have, and do, to see where you can live more simply.
  • How do your possessions and schedule occupy your mind and spirit?
  • What have you learned about yourself by choosing to rest with your inner longings that pull you away from contentment?
  • What helps you to live a simple life in the midst of cities that cultivate desire and dissatisfaction?
  • What does it feel like to transform the pull towards excess into invitation into God’s satisfying presence?
  • Identify the pleasures in your life and blessings from God, and give Him praise and appreciation for them. Next, reflect on if God may be inviting you to enjoy these good things in greater moderation.
  • Reflect on your dissatisfaction and longings. Do you notice any trends or patterns that may connect them? Pray for God to help you, and seek support where needed.
  • Living simply will leave us alone with ourselves more often. Reflect upon the longings of distractions arising in your solitude that are connected to expecting, having, and doing.
  • Take account of the things you own, and prayerfully discern ways that you can pare down what you have and do.
  • If you live with others, how can you navigate living simply with someone in a way that honors and respects them?

Meditations on this Rule