Simple Souls

Hosea 14:10 “Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but the sinners stumble in them.”

Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.”

Proverbs 9:4 “let whoever is simple turn in here…” These are words of Wisdom commonly associated with Christ.

These first two are from readings of today’s Mass. The proverb was talked about in The Fathers of the Church, a book I am reading in the Adoration Chapel. What follows is my reflection and research on these passages which appealed to me.

The paths are straight which lead to God, but only the simple, or those who have become simple, find the path. St. Therese of Lisieux became simple.

Catholic Bible 101 “Catholics would do well to imitate St. Therese’s Little Way if they want to be happy in this life, as well as happy in the next.  That “Little Way” consists of simplicity in life, prayer from the heart to Jesus, total trust in God as our Loving Father (not a stern judge), being a true child of God our Father rather than doing our own thing, seeking God’s will in our everyday activities, doing everything for the love of Jesus with humility, being kind to people we can’t stand, and a sincere desire to be with Jesus forever rather than to be in this world.” 

Definition of simple:  free from guile :  innocent free from vanity :  modest free from ostentation or display, of humble origin or modest position, lacking in knowledge or expertise, not socially or culturally sophisticated

“Jesus does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”  St. Therese

Simple perhaps means being exactly what one has been created to be and not worrying that we are not like someone else.

I had asked my friend Karen, a lay Carmelite, what St. Therese meant by having a simple soul. Here is what she wrote:

“simple soul” is an idea that is so central to St. Therese, and to other saints. I think she meant it in the sense of of being very much like “truth”–in that we are made and loved by God, and that we make that awareness a priority in our lives, and always work at getting rid of the complications like our own egos, our own self-importance and our undue attachments to things other than God. I think she meant that our lives are a continual process of purification (St. John of the Cross said this, too) of these things, which help us to grow in in this kind of simplicity, which seeks one aim, which is God alone. St. Therese considered this kind of simplicity a direct path to God, as it makes obedience simpler and is the basis for our confidence in God’s help and strength made available to us. And these things always sound a lot simpler than they are to actually try to do!”