When we are willing to take the way of simplicity, we open ourselves to a different life style. A life where we can be open to re-think what we have learned, to go deeper in every teaching we have had and open it to our humanity, so in that rawness, we can learn.
When we do this, suddenly we realized that all our formal concepts of what we thought a “Christian”should be or act are shattered; we are shattered without repair. Then we start the difficult journey of openness and vulnerability. Most of us prefer to live under the structural way of the law and religion, because life could be controlled, directed and take it to wherever we would like to go.
But since the church history there has been people who have decided not to take the way of the law, but the way of openness and vulnerability like Francis of Assisi, Theresa de Avila, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, John of the Cross, and many more. It is not a life of financial prosperity, but inner richness in Christ’s cross. It is a way to show ourselves naked in front of everybody else, no hiding anything, not being ashamed of anything because, we just have to remember that we are human beings. Henry Nouwen says, “The way we see other people is usually the way we see ourselves. If we make peace with our flawed humanity and have embraced our ragamuffin identity, we are able to tolerate in others what was previously unacceptable in ourselves”.
This way of openness and vulnerability helps me to connect with others, helps me to share my nakedness with my brother and then realized that may be I have more things in common with him. It is not about growing up according to the standards of our society, but it is about growing down according to the loving and acceptance thoughts of God and our inner love. It is not about knowing all, but knowing we are loved.
When we are shattered and open, we will ended up going to places where we did not want to go, think the way we did not want to think and embrace those who we though did not have a space in our home, in our heart. This is what I called The Way of Simplicity, a journey of religious detoxification so I can start walking a new spirituality where God grace is poured out to all, where His love touches all, where nobody stays outside because of their religion, gender, lifestyle (gay, straight) ideology, legal status or close mindedness. This way is not about being liberal or conservative, it is not about being open or close minded, it is not about being Republican or Democrat; it is about being just ourselves realizing that before all our titles and group affiliations, we are just inhabitants of the same home. When we accept this, then life is not about being sinless, it is not about “us”and “them”, but about accepting the most wonderful thing we were given: our humanity.
“What is most intimate is also what frightens us most. Where we are most ourselves, we are often strangers to ourselves. That is the painful part of being human…The mystery of the spiritual life is that Jesus desires to meet us in the seclusion of our own heart, to make his love known to us there, to free us from our fears and to make our deepest self known to us” (Nouwen)