I wrote this retreat on simplicity in 2001. These ten sessions are the beginning of a new series here on living a simple life. I hope these sessions open you to the foundations of living a life of simplicity, learning what is essential from the inside out, a process of faith and prayer. The essence of simplicity rests in our deep faith experience of the Paschal Mystery. All things die. New life emerges. This pattern is the element of God’s creating plan. Jesus’ dying and rising reveals the brevity of life. We cannot ultimately possess or control life. Life is a great gift given from our loving Creator. I hope you enjoy this first session.
Simplicity: Loving, Living, Serving by Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C. (Fatima Retreat Center, 2001)
Session One: Become Silent
- Silence purifies our motives, our emotions, our actions, our concerns and our passions to create a heart-space for acknowledgement and reliance on a power greater than us.
- The silent heart is the path of the true self, a discovery of simplicity and what is really real.
- Fill your life with noise and happiness leaps away from you and anxiety and frustration forms your life and relationships.
- Silence readies the heart for love, true conviction. Desire and hope are birthed in the silent hours.
- While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzling white…Luke:9
- Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord. Psalm: 27
- “no, the water I give shall become a fountain within you leaping up to provide eternal life.” John: 4
- “anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.” John: 18
- May Christ strengthen you inwardly through the working of the Spirit. Ephesians: 3
- Hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts. Romans: 5
O Source of Life, from your creating breath I remain in your Spirit. My silent breathing this day becomes a place of honor, to receive, to love, to remind me of your desire to live within me. Still the rhythms of my life, calm my fear. I am overwhelmed by work and busy-ness, relationships, children, schedules and I am afraid to sit still. In silent hours, allow me to face myself and discover your wanting me. I sit and wait. I listen. I long. I hope and believe in you alone. Amen
- My experience with silence has been____________________________.
- Silence makes me feel _______________________________________.
- My excuses not to be silent are _________________________________.
- In silence, I ________________________________________________.
- In silence, God _____________________________________________.