Sunday, January 22, 2012

Endless Simplicity

A common theme among mamas at my apostolate is simplifying life.  The generations born in the 70's and 80's, most of us reared in the opulence of suburbia, have no training in Holy Poverty.  We have been raised in the ME generation that wants what it wants, and it wants it NOW.  We are submerged in the mindset of "I deserve it" and "I must have it"....Most mamas who are truly desiring a closer union with Jesus are trying to reject this training.  We are working to strip the consumerism and materialism that have infected our hearts and our brains.

I grew up singing along with madonna that "I am a material girl" for part of my life.  Face it people, she is the virtual goddess of our lust filled posession loving culture...even as a hippie, I still in the back of my mind believed that money could buy me happiness.  Praise God, now I know that only Jesus gives happiness.  But that consumerism, materialistic thinking is like a nasty case of head lice...its hard to get rid of it!

I love the Goodwill.  Cheap, recycled stuff, easy on the pocket book....unless it becomes your habit and you end up buying more than you really save.  In my desire to embrace the virtue of Holy Poverty, I have even had to break myself of the beloved habit of Goodwill shopping every 2 weeks.  That was harder to do than give up coffee!  Does the toddler REALLY need that 12th pair of leggings for under her dress in the winter?  Do I really need to get the girls another tiny cast iron pan for their play kitchen?  Oh, another image of the Divine Mercy...can I bear to leave it here?

Now, I am  taking things to Goodwill myself, and NOT going in to shop.  I can't tell you how many times I have loaded up the back of the minivan FULL of stuff.  What would my house be like if I couldn't detach and give things away?  Already I am a slave to stuff, and that is not my place in this world.  Taking care of piles of stuff does not make me happy.  I had a whole library of books, and I gave 90% of them away, because I don't have time to take care of them all!  The dust was driving me crazy.  Childrens toys, acres and acres of them...gone.  The six year olds 17 extra dresses, kept the best for the next girls in my tub downstairs, got rid of the junk...Schoolbooks and supplies I will never use, no matter how Catholic and pretty they are...bye bye.

Catholic Lane has a beautiful post about spring cleaning.  I did this last year, prayed and detached and drove to goodwill multiple times.  Don't wait for a full week though mamas, do it today!  Put the children in front of a movie, lock them outside, put them in front of their schoolwork...whatever it takes,  or better yet, get them involved!  I know, sometimes the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth is not worth the help....but the earlier you get them to realize that too much stuff isn't good, the better off you will be.

Junk is like venial's bad when it crowds up our life.  It leads us to eat up hours taking care of it, spending lots of cash to buy plastic tubs to put it in, and lots of chaos and disorder...which is not of God.  I always tell my children that God is a God of order.  As Catholics we need to do our best to keep our lives in order, peaceful and joyfilled.  That cannot happen in chaos.

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