It is now apparent that the Lenten Lesson is going to extend far beyond Lent. Actually, I’m starting to realize that it’s probably going to be a life-long lesson.
I picked up another small book from my shelf: Keep it Simple by Bishop Emmanuel de Gibergues (Sophia Institute Press, 2000; an abridged edition of Simplicity According to the Gospel, originally published in 1914).
And guess what it’s about:
Simplicity, or purity of intention, consists in keeping before yourself, in all your thoughts, words, and acts, one and the same end, one and the same object–namely, the pleasing of God, or, more accurately, the doing of His will.
OK, I get it! I need to learn to better orient myself toward God and His holy will.
No doubt due to some measure of egoism, I truly didn’t realize that I had so much to learn about this.
Then I read the chapter called “Recognize the Signs of Simplicity.” There are four signs of simplicity:
1. Indifference to your own success
2. Joy in the success of others or in their spiritual progress
3. Attachment to the will of God
4. Neither to desire nor to court the praise and approbation of men for the good that you do
He briefly talks about and gives examples of each of these.
I winced more than once.
Fortunately, I’m getting to the part where he teaches you how to increase the virtue of simplicity in yourself, to become more attentive to God, and how you can learn this virtue from Christ, from Mary, and from the Holy Spirit.
Which is good because right now, I feel like the Holy Spirit is doing His bang-me-over-the-head thing!
Seriously, I really do get it! Please stop?