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Archive for the ‘simplicity’ Category

In his hidden life, Our Lord’s humility is evident by his poverty and obedience.He was submissive to the will of the Father and left his exalted position to become a little baby. His self-effacement remained during his entire life as a man. He lived in a poor estate,often the object of ingratitude and suffered uncomplainingly. As a child he submitted to his earthly parents and was obedient to them.

When he began his public life proclaiming by word and deed that he was the Son of God, he did so in a discreet, clear manner and spoke in a way to reach the minds of all people of good will. He was totally forgetful of himself, always thinking of others. He surrounded himself with ignorant and unrefined people. Because of this he was little esteemed. This fact is so counter to the actions of the proud. Jesus showed preference to those the world despises: the poor, the afflicted, little children, and those the world disowns. When he taught, he made sure his teaching was plain and simple. Therefore, he was in no way seeking the admiration of others.

Jesus did not engage in calculated acts of austerity. He simply ate what everyone else was eating, he attends a wedding, and was a frequent guest at banquets. He shunned popularity, often having to slip away to avoid the praise and exaltation of the crowds. This was most evident when the people wanted to make him king.

He was totally dependent on God the Father. He did nothing of himself, but only out of submissiveness to his Father. When he spoke it was only to give expression to some doctrine. He never sought his own glory but only that of his Father.

In his passion, he is a man of sorrow. Wearied and betrayed by his friends, he bears the outrages that are mounded upon him. Even though deserted by his friends, he still loves them. He suffers all sorts of insults and offenses and does so in silence. Verbally abused and defamed, he doesn’t justify himself. Even when treated like a fool, he utters not a word. Unjustly condemned, and still he says nothing. Those to whom he had done so much good choose a murder instead. He allows himself to be physically mistreated: whipped, crowned with thorns, mocked and crucified – all without complaint.

Sneered at and insulted by those who hated him, he prays for them and makes excuses for them before his Father. Abandoned by his followers, deprived of his dignity as a man, stripped of his reputation and honor, he surrenders to it all for love of sinful man.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel is always depicted in art holding the Infant Jesus. All statues and holy cards of Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel show Jesus in her arms. Since we as Carmelites are Mary’s children, devotion to the child Jesus shows a special mark of love for her firstborn Son.

St. Therese of Lisieux was devoted to the Child Jesus. Her “little way” was a way of childlike abandonment to God’s will. She wished to be the plaything of the Divine Child. As his plaything he could do with her as He pleased.

St. Teresa of Jesus once encountered the presence of a little boy. He spoke to her asking her, “What is your name?” She responded, “ I am called Teresa of Jesus. And what is your name?” The child smiled and answered, “I am Jesus of Teresa.”

This child is a model on which to mold our lives. We can imitate this child in our everyday life, and we can practice the virtues of the Child Jesus.

Some of the things we can learn from this child is to be little and to believe without doubting. We could obey without reluctance in imitation of the Child Jesus when found in the temple by St. Joseph and his mother. We could, also, in our needs and wants be so without murmuring. We could work without presumption and strive to live our lives in humility and simplicity. Finally, in imitation, we can try to please God in everything.

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Looking only at God and referring all to him is the virtue of simplicity. A simple soul lives for God and has only one intention to please and serve him. All words and actions simply and clearly reflect the soul’s thoughts and intentions. A simple soul is guided by God alone and relies on his power. In order to become a simple soul one has to set aside egotistic points of view and selfishness, reject the deceptions of the passions, and the false maxims of the world. Simplicity “places man in the presence of God; it is simplicity that empties and frees the soul from all fear today and on the day of judgement…It crushes evil nature underfoot, it gives peace, it imposes silence on the useless nosies within us…It is simplicity that hourly increases our divine likeness…will transport us into the depths where God dwells and will give us the repose of the abyss. ”
~(Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity Heaven in Faith)

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