The word simplicity comes from the Latin word “simplex,” meaning “single, simple or one‑fold. Simple people are unique, without decorations or artifice, and they do not need to exhibit possessions or qualities. Because there is no ostentation or duplicity in them, they are free from material and emotional desires, and are able to live an “uncluttered” life. Living life “uncluttered” makes it easier for them to recognize what is truly important among all of the things that are fighting for their time and attention.
People who live simply can sometimes go unnoticed because they are not likely to draw attention to themselves. They dress with decorum, without being outlandish, so they can blend in. They avoid monopolizing conversations to become the center of attention and their way of speaking is free of offensive or far-fetched words. Even so, in conversation, they exhibit an inner strength and charm that runs deep and leaves an impression.
Because simple people live “uncluttered,” they are able to clearly see life’s gifts and beauty and are more aware of those around them. Because they can sense the needs of others, they can always be counted on for their support. They are not afraid to provide service and they will readily offer help without expectations or conditions. In addition, they have open hearts that are quick to forgive, reluctant to judge, and unable to hate.
In regard to their spiritual life, people who live simply have open hearts. They allow God into their souls. Mary, our Blessed Mother, is a good example of a simple soul. How easy it was for God to work through her! When the angel appeared to her, there were no barriers to tear down in her. We see that Mary trusted God and His plan for her when she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38) Like Mary, simple people do not question God’s designs, but instead accept them with peace and abandon. Simple people yield their will to God and God uses them for His purposes and the good of others.
Let us, then, strive for a life of simplicity, so that we may be open to God and able to see His hand in everything that surrounds us!
Mother María Elena Martínez is a nun, born in Mexico City, where she still resides today. She has had a consecrated life for more than 30 years. She is currently a member of a community called María Madre del Amor which is dedicated to evangelization through Emmaus retreats in parishes and prisons and Sicar retreats for young people.