It is a fact of experience across all religious traditions that certain kinds of “simplification” predictably occur as one spiritually matures: conflicting energies and desires are calmed, reconciled, and focused on “the one thing necessary”; a multiplicity of devotions, discursive prayers, and pious thoughts gradually give way to a simple loving attention; and one surrenders more and more to the transforming activity of God in every aspect of one’s life. It should not surprise Christians that the process is analogous to what one finds in any healthy love relationship, as the many words, gestures, and conflicting thoughts and feelings of early infatuation evolve into a silent, loving presence to each other. From such a perspective, the pursuit of authentic Christian simplicity becomes no longer an effort to escape our creaturehood but rather, as the Scriptures affirm, a readiness to walk with God in the simple human integrity that the Creator intended from the beginning. 

Reference: Steven Payne, “Simplicity” in The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, 889.

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