Simplicity and naturalness

Simplicity and naturalness are extraordinarily attractive virtues: to understand this, it is enough to look at Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But we must know that they are difficult virtues, because of pride, which leads us to have an inordinate idea of ourselves, and to want to appear to others to be more than what we are or what we have. We feel humiliated so many times for wanting to be the center of attention and esteem of those around us; for not recognizing that, at times, we act badly; for not being satisfied with doing and disappearing, without seeking the reward of a word of praise or gratitude. We often complicate our lives by not accepting our own limitations, by taking ourselves too seriously. Pride can induce us to talk too much about ourselves, to think almost exclusively about our personal problems, or to try to attract attention by sometimes complex and convoluted ways: it can even make us simulate non-existent illnesses, or joys and sorrows that do not correspond to our state of mind.

Pedantry, affectation, boastfulness, hypocrisy and lies are opposed to simplicity and, therefore, to friendship; they also make it difficult to live together amicably. They are a real obstacle to family life.

But the simplicity that the Lord teaches us is not naivety: "Behold," he says, "I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore you must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves11. We Christians must go through the world with these two virtues-simplicity and prudence-which perfect each other.

To be simple, we must be careful to be upright in our actions, which must be directed towards God. Only in this way can they prevail over our complex feelings, over the impressions of the moment or the confused life of the senses. And together with rectitude of intention, clear, concise sincerity - rude, if necessary - to expose our own weaknesses, without trying to conceal or deny them: "Look: the apostles, with all their obvious and undeniable miseries, were sincere, simple..., transparent.

"You also have obvious and undeniable miseries. -May you not lack simplicity."

To learn to be simple, let us contemplate Jesus, Mary and Joseph in all the scenes of the Lord's infancy, in the midst of their ordinary life. Let us ask them to make us like children before God, to treat him personally, without anonymity, without fear.

Hablar con Dios