Simplicity: Session Five


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 fifth session. You may download the entire series here:

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


Session Five: Learn from your heart


  • Jesus asks of us two things before we die, to learn how to receive love and how to give love.
  • Love nurtures the spiritual life and we learn from an integrated experience of life. The heart becomes the center of how we live, why we live and for whom we live.
  • Heart knowledge is the beginning of our reliance on the Holy, an experience of conversion. Human growth and love can not be limited to the mind alone.


  • I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. Ezekiel: 36
  • And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation. 2 Corinthians
  • He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love. Zephaniah 
  • Teach us to count how few days we have and so gain wisdom of heart. Psalm 90
  • The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.  Psalm 34


How often, O God, I am my own worst enemy. I forge ahead thinking I am in control of everything! I pretend I know what is right, holy and good. And then I find myself against another brick wall! Spirit of God, continue to show me the ways of my self-reliance and reveal to my heart the true course of life. You are the teacher of the heart, the Master of Love and slowly I am beginning to discover the ways of learning something new. In mind, body, heart create in me your image of love. Amen


  • I must gain simple perspective on my life to _____________________________.
  • Sometimes I can not trust my heart because _____________________________.
  • Those who have formed by heart in the past are __________________________.
  • The times when I make decisions with a balanced perspective, I _____________.
  • God is teaching me to listen to my heart through __________________________.

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