It is no secret that simplicity is a major theme in Igantian Spirituality. As I reflect and pray about how this concept plays into my time as an ASC volunteer, we are about to undergo an immense move into the new wing of our school building at Arrupe Jesuit High School, in Denver, CO.
After seemingly endless months of construction’s distracting noise, unintended fire alarms, and anticipation for a new section to our school, the time is finally here to throw away what we do not need, pack up what we do, and settle in to our new space.
This reflects a common understanding of what simplifying or simplicity itself can be: doing away with the superfluous and unnecessary in our lives in order to hold closer to the most valuable and deeply held pieces. I think that concept is ground-breaking, and a lot can be taken from meditating on and practicing it. But I have struggled since I was first introduced to the theme of simplicity from a Jesuit perspective to understand what exactly that means for me. What am I to do exactly? To be honest, selling or donating all my unneeded stuff would probably help me, but is that what St. Ignatius was getting at when he talked about keeping our souls in peace and quiet?
Tonight was a beautiful night in Denver, and I took my dinner outside to enjoy the weather. I was thinking about this Ignatian simplicity and as I savored a bite of fruit and enjoyed the rustling of the leaves in the Aspen tree in my front yard. I remembered something I learned from a favorite theology teacher of mine at Rockhurst High School. There is value in removing the unnecessary from our lives, and perhaps the greatest value is understanding what is most important to our hearts and proceeding with distinct intentionality in how we live our day-to-day.
As our ASC year begins to come to a close, may we continue to give of ourselves intentionally and with great gratitude.