Simplicity: Session Two


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 second session. You may download the entire series here:

 Simplicity:  Loving, Living, Serving by Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C. (Fatima Retreat Center, 2001)


Session Two: Cultivate Desire


  • At the center and core of each human life is a passion for life and for God. To live honestly and simply is to direct our desires in love.
  • Our desires for activity, money, possessions, food, control, power and sex inflame the ego and can render our lives empty and anxious.
  • True desire comes from God. We cultivate a desire for God because we know we are not God. The truth of being human is rooted in a passionate relationship with God and we orient our lives toward the Holy, the God who is creating us.


  • The people were full of anticipation, wondering in their hearts…Luke: 3
  • …continue, my dear ones, to stand firm in the Lord.    Philippians: 3
  • See! I will bring Spirit into you that you may come to life.     Ezekiel: 37
  • Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.   Isaiah: 49


God of my longing and source of true peace, guard me from relying on my own ways, on my own thoughts of what is right. When my desires for possessions, places, people and purpose fill my heart, create in me a reliance for your life-giving Spirit. Nothing can replace your love. No one can fill me with hope. No object can make me happy. You change everything, as I direct my heart toward you, God of all my life. Amen


  • As I look honestly at my life, my desires have led me___________________________.
  • My heart’s desire shows me ______________________________________________.
  • God, I turn toward you because ____________________________________________.
  • My life has lacked passion and real motivation because I ________________________.
  • God, you are leading me toward ____________________________________________.
  • My prayer, lately, has been ________________________________________________.

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