Tuesday, May 15, 2012

April Lectio, May Simplicity

In April, we did some lectio divina together. Some people had success in doing it alone, but we found it helpful to do it together. I shared that I had done lectio divina on the passage that I used as a guest preacher the Sunday after Easter, that my ear and heart had been struck by Jesus' repetition of "Peace be with you," as he appeared to the disciples and later to Thomas after his resurrection.

May's chapter in Flunking Sainthood is called "Nixing Shoppertainment" and is about simplifying the "stuff" that you think you need in your life. Some people have already told me that they are thinking of skipping this chapter because other people have told them that they have the opposite problem: they are already too frugal. Since Jana Reiss talks about the "Competitive Frugality" contests that she has when she gets together with her family, I think that this may not be the direction we need to worry about. She's reading Richard Foster's book, Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World, and he is clear that simplicity is more complicated than just being frugal.
Perhaps no work is more foundational to the individual embodying Christian simplicity in the world than our becoming comfortable in our own skin. The less comfortable we are with ourselves, the more we will look to things around us for comfort. The more assured we are with ourselves, the less assurance we will need from things outside us. (Riess, Jana (2011-09-24). Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor (Kindle Locations 1087-1089). Paraclete Press. Kindle Edition.)
What other ways might we practice simplicity, if it's not just about resisting the temptation of material "things" that bring us feelings of comfort or self-worth? Can being too frugal be a "hair-shirt" that makes us proud and would our pride be something that gets in the way of our relationship with God?

So, join us for this discussion, perhaps yet another discussion of the things that get in our way of a relationship with God.