Monday, November 3, 2014

Simplicity - Beauty - Truth

If you are interested in ideas to simplify your life, if you are a lover of beauty, and if you are searching for Truth, then this post is for you.


Although it can be good to pray different types of devotions, they are not necessary.

The Holy Rosary is a beautiful prayer, as it calls upon the intercession of Mary (asking Mary to pray for you) and allows you to meditate on the Gospels.  If you can pray one daily or if you can pray a Decade daily, then that's great!  You may be surprised at how you suddenly DO have time to squeeze one in when you entrust this to God.  The same goes for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy--what a beautiful prayer of compassion, love, and forgiveness!  However, if your day or your season of life is completely crazy--if you are in survival mode--you may only be able to pray some of the Rosary or some of the Chaplet (maybe not all in one sitting)--or perhaps none at all.

I don't think God cares.

What He cares about is being with you.  Are you "present" to Him every day?  Are you open to how He wants your day to pan out?  Do you trust His care for your life?

Go to Him throughout your day and just be with Him.  This is the more important thing.


Aesthetics can be wonderful.  God gave the world physical beauty, such as unspoiled nature, and He gave humans the ability to create magnificent works of art (paintings, photography, sculptures, song, dance, storytelling, and more).  However, we know that beauty which delights the senses is not the only type of true beauty.

There is a deeper sort of beauty.

Caring for an ailing loved one.
Sticking it out in a relationship when it no longer seems convenient or gratifying.
Allowing someone to help you in your time(s) of need.
Listening to those who feel isolated.
Recognizing your own limits and attempting to take care of your body by getting adequate rest, nourishment, and physical activity.

These are some examples.


In today's Gospel reading, Jesus instructs us to do loving acts for the right reasons.  When we offer love, we should not expect some type of return from the recipient(s).  This is a challenging assignment.

Our culture seems to be quite driven by reinforcements.  When it comes to certain tasks, if I receive no positive reinforcement, sometimes I find it very difficult to continue with that task.  That is, unless I somehow derive an internal positive reinforcement from the action.  I find that the momentum of habit can also aid in continuance of a task that is good, yet quite unpleasant.

One type of internal, positive reinforcement experienced from helping others may be the cliched "warm, fuzzy feeling."  Awareness that doing something loving can improve the recipient's life (even if they are ungrateful or oblivious) can be another form of motivation for doing good.  Remembering that we are God's hands and feet--that our gestures of love can be examples of God's love to another--can reinforce to us the importance of gift-giving without an expectation for reciprocity.

In summary, we are called to love, help, and be kind even to those for whom it is very difficult to love, help, and be kind.  This can be very difficult.  It requires a firm foundation in identity, a knowledge that we are loved immensely by God, maturity, humility, and the understanding that if our gift is not reciprocated or even if it is rejected, we have not lost anything of ourselves.  Nothing is lost when you attempt to give genuine love to others.  Love is multiplied no matter the response.

What are your thoughts on devotions, true beauty, and Truth?  Feel free to leave a comment!

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