The Holy Family knew how to keep it simple!
I've been thinking a lot lately about living simply and how this is a trait that many holy people have, and many saints have done. But in all the examples I can think of, these holy people and saints who have so few possessions, are people without families to take care of. So how does this concept apply to someone whose needs extend way beyond their own?
But first, how does a simplified life help one achieve holiness? After watching a movie about St. Vincent De Paul, I started to see the appeal for a life of poverty- which is one way of simplifying things! St. Vincent was helping the poor, but found himself drifting from God ever so slightly because of the possessions he still had. When he gave up everything, he could truly focus on God and the poor.
I recently read a quote about housekeeping that drove this 'living simply' idea home for me. It said, "Everything we own- from the tiniest button to the every piece of furniture- takes a little bit of our time." How true is that? Yesterday I scrubbed every inch of my hardwood floors, which is my entire first floor. It didn't take me as long as it sounds because my house is very small! I often dream of having a nice big house, a minivan, a new wardrobe, or new toys for our kids, but if I had these things not only would it take more time to clean, it would keep my focus even farther from the Master of Simplicity, Jesus himself.
It brings me back to the question I have been trying to answer for myself. How can I, who have so many responsibilities, keep it simple? Having a tight budget has helped us to cut the excess. We don't have cable, fancy cell phone plans, video games, or even an mp3 player. But our kids have too many toys and I find our house filled with too much stuff in general. The temptation to buy the newest, best thing out there is so great sometimes, we give in and get something that takes our focus a little farther from a poor and simple life that Jesus taught.
Living simply is something everyone is called to in a different way, but I would love to hear how you do it in your home. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!