Friday, March 24, 2017

Minimalism and Catholicism: The Catholic Connection Found!

I have loved Flylady for years.  She was a a big part of the reason why we began to connect with the concept of decluttering.  In my mind, this is step 1 of a peaceful life of minimalism. 

Step 2 for me was watching a TED talk by Angela Horn on her awakening to the need to transform her life or risk spending it taking care of stuff.  It's a brilliant, touching talk that really got me started down the path of simplifying my life: getting rid of what wasted my life (cleaning, sorting, searching) to be able to add what I valued (a peaceful home, time with my husband, children, family, and friends).

I've continued on.  We've enjoyed a number of blogs: "Becoming Minimalist" and "The Minimalists" in particular.  Our family recently moved.  We applied all we have been learning about minimalism.  We got rid of things that were dragging us down.  We gave away, recycled, or threw out what we didn't need.  Then again, we started unpacking.  We have looked in every box with the same eagle eye - always aware another move could be just around the corner.  We don't want to be tied down to a location because of our stuff.  We want to live like we are on the move!  Ready to respond to what God brings our way.

This morning I was reading the Catechism.  Yes, you read correctly.  I am actually reading, and loving, the Catechism.  I follow a Bible/Catechism reading guide that is teaching me in the faith in crazy good ways.  If you're interested is the resource I use.  I downloaded the free version and share it with pretty much anyone who can stand it and a few who can't - sorry...😉

This morning, I found this section and it made my heart sing.  I knew there was something about minimalism that connected deeply with my faith.  Here it is (for the sake of this post, pay particular attention to 226):

"Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life.
223 It means coming to know God's greatness and majesty: "Behold, God is great, and we know him not." Therefore, we must "serve God first".
224 It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?" "What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?"
225 It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.
226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him: 
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you."

How can I spend time with God when I am distracted and overwhelmed by stuff I don't need want or use?  

Catholicism naturally leads to a desire to make wise use of created things. This rookie Catholic is thankful as always for the resources the Catholic church puts on the path to draw us closer to God.

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