Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: Holy Simplicity

Holy Simplicity
The Little Way of Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day & Therese of Lisieux
By:  Joel Schorn

After reading the books The Happiness Project and Rediscover Catholicism I developed an interest in St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa.  So when I saw this book with information about both Saints I thought why not.  It took me a while to read the book mainly because school started and I just didn’t have time to read but I finally made it through the book.  It was somewhat interesting however I thought it repeated the same theme over and over.  I did learn a lot as I read and the book gave me a lot to think about and tried to figure out how I can apply that new knowledge to my life now.
This quote sort of explains my life during the school year.  I really do not have time to take on big projects each day or even each week.  Some times I get so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to start.  However, if I can just start, even the smallest step can help toward the goal.  So if I can do small steps each day they will add up to something big and worthwhile.
God created us to do, “small things with great love,” Mother Teresa said.  It is practice in simplicity, obedience, and satisfaction with the little things and hidden work of everyday.”
 I am at this point in my life when everything in my life is upside down.  My last two children are moving out.   My house is in disarray with so much stuff that I am going through box by box.  Looking for what can be useful and what is best passed on to someone else.  No this is no great project worth posting about however I must go through these steps.

My goal when this is all done is to create a home that is simplistic and honors the love that my husband and I have shared with our children over the years. 

“I’ve got to take myself just as I am, with all my imperfections,”
Therese of Lisieux

We now have three extra bedrooms to create something that is meaningful to us.  Right now we are using the bedrooms as a staging area to sort through the boxes.  What we are keeping and giving we really need it or will someone benefit from it more?  These are the questions I ask myself for each object.  

“That shall be my miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice.always doing the tiniest things, and doing it for love.
Therese of Lisieux


I have given my children as much as possible in terms of furniture and material things.  I know this leaves me with some empty rooms but I know that I do not need to fill up the rooms quickly.  They are just things and if it makes my children happy then I am happy.   I need to remember that things do my make me happy ....people and memories make me happy.  

We Christians hold the power to remake the world, one person and one deed at a time. 

I am finding that even though I have given a lot of our furniture to our kids and we still have more than enough.  Now I am thinking we still do not need all of this, so what can I give to others?  We have so much that we can share and others would appreciate it. 


Smile five times a day at someone you don’t really want to smile at all.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.Andyou shall love your neighbor as yourself”
Matthew 22:37,39

This is another thought that has been sitting with me.  I am trying to practice this at work.  I am purposely teaching my students about kindness and doing nice things for others.  I am trying my best to be the one who helps instead of complains.  That is easier said than done. 

Mother Theresa has some wonderful words of wisdom to live by:

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