Simplifying one’s life

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hibiscus flowerTo simplify means to make less complex or complicated. Hence to simplify one’s life is to make it less complicated and perhaps easier to live. How do we do this?  Let’s take a lesson from mathematics. In mathematics to simplify an algebraic expression is to perform the indicated operation. For example, in 9(2x+1)/3 – x, the indicated operations are division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction. The simplifying process is only complete when the expression is in its most basic form.  I believe that in math and in life, the simplifying process is done by going through the same operation of subtraction, addition, division and multiplication.

To simplify one’s life does not only involve subtraction or removing unnecessary baggage, disordered attachments, and excesses. This is only part of the process. To simplify one’s life also involve addition – increasing our knowledge about ourselves, opening our hearts and minds to life-giving relationships, increasing the depth of our intimacy with God, etc.

To simplify one’s life also involves division and multiplication. We should learn to celebrate life. Our joys, our hopes, our faith have to multiply so that they will touch the lives of as many people as possible.  However this can only happen if we are willing to share ourselves, continually allow ourselves to be broken for others like Jesus does in the Eucharist.

Yes, the simplifying process is an on-going process. It does not only happen during the lenten season of the Church or of our lives but also during Advent, Christmas, Easter, and even in Ordinary time.


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