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"Minimalism" by Danielle Heckenkamp (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: By Maarten Deckers (2017), Unsplash.com, CC0/PD[/caption] The world thrives on noise, but our souls do not. The world offers the allurement of a busy lifestyle with empty and uncompleted tasks that build upon each other without any recognition of the Divine. The soul seeks the opposite as it desires quietude and peace in the presence of God. Yet, oftentimes we fail to listen to that inner yearning for Christ. They are the “coals” of Faith, Hope, and Charity that will only become stronger through love, sacrifice, and prayer. A coal will never become hot without close adherence to heat, so the same is true with our souls. If we do fail to orientate ourselves towards God, we fail to warm those inner “coals” of our souls which so desperately yearn for God. Minimalism has become an obsession, a type of trend that touches the mainstream. Even with the constant pressure to “purge” and “organize,” a major component remains ignored – Divine Love. The New Year encourages the typical list of resolutions and one of the top goals is “minimalism” or “simplicity.” But as we purge and re-organize our homes, what truly is the purpose? Do we seek simplicity out of frustration and anxiety? Do we seek a minimalist lifestyle just to share our progress with others? Do we seek minimalism because it is trendy? Or are we searching for something more? Minimalism should not just be a passing whim. There is a great benefit in pursuing a simple lifestyle. Now the definition of simplicity is subjective depending our vocations. The life of simplicity for a religious will look much different than that of a family, yet both are of great worth to the soul and to society as a whole. As each person “purges” their home, they should do so with the intention of “purging” their soul. For minimalism is quite an empty process if the tossed material items are not replaced with Divine Love. The soul longs for love. We were created to be social beings, but due to uncontrolled habits, we oftentimes fill our personal needs with “things” rather than with Christ.
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part I, Section I)
Instead of spending our time on earth in search of God’s love, we find ourselves settling on temporary pleasures. In the search for God, we must learn to restrain those personal desires that create an unceasing amount of noise in our souls. So, as we clean the cobwebs of our house and remove the clutter, let’s attempt to replace those items not with more “things” or an emptiness, but with Divine Love. For without God, and the desire for His Love, we cannot find joy in this life and we will struggle to earn everlasting happiness in heaven.
Copyright 2020 Danielle Heckenkamp