It’s not new, but Brother Adam posted for a 4th time on Simplicity.  He comments early in his article like this:

One further preliminary thought about ascetic practices leading to better focus. I was wondering why I was reluctant to write more, apart from general busy-ness, and yesterday it came to me. Focus on what? Focus for what? Whose focus?

If the focus is mine, or on something that comes from me, then what I will achieve in that kind of focus is to narrow my attention down to something that is going to be of my choosing, and will reflect me. But that is precisely what I do not want, as a monk, as a person striving for simplicity so that God may be more present to me and I more present to God. An ascetic discipline which increases intensity of focus on my life, my hopes, my desires, my past experiences, my whatevers, is going to narrow me and draw me deeper into myself, into a place which may not in the end be productive.

If you are interested in the whole article, you can find it here.

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Brother Adam also has a couple of nice pieces on simplicity.  In the first he says:

The new year is now launched. The Three Kings have visited the Child, observant Christians are packing away the Christmas decorations, and most new year’s resolutions are facing reality.

So I want to put in a word for a monastic value I want to last beyond its new year’s resolution shelf life for me: Simplicity

Then in the second he says:

Monastic spiritual writers all agree that this is a foundational principle for our life with God. The more you have, the more there will be between you and God.

Got the following from Brother Adam’s blog (why reinvent the wheel?):

Brother Adam writes about things that are irretrievably lost, except in memory, in his piece “The Death of Eurydice” in his blog.  You can find the whole thing here.  But to whet your appetite, here is where the penny dropped and he realized why he was resisting writing a piece: (more…)

I was reading Brother Adam again tonight and I enjoyed this:

In the course of teaching Bible and early monasticism over the years I have become aware, as I suppose is inevitable, that modern readers come to these texts with our own presuppositions. This is not exactly news. But it is also not always obvious to us when we are reading. We aren’t usually conscious of the biases of our own culture until we have something to compare it to (more…)

Brother Adam has posted again! It’s his Ash Wednesday reflection for his community.  At one point he says:

In a way, then, Lent calls us to be “normal” — to remember our nature, that we are part of the earth and not lords of it, to remember our contingency and how close we are to death when we are in life. Such remembering also gives us a strong sense of the value of simple things, of nourishing food, of an unexpected kindness, of the usefulness of practical skills that can prolong our lives if we find ourselves shut out of what we had before and wandering without knowing what is next. It might give us a little more respect for the poor of our own time, whose survival skills might be worth studying. The current urgency may call forth skills we did not know we need.

Anyway, if you want to see more, click here.

My old classmate from seminary, Brother Adam McCoy, had a rather different (and thought provoking) reflection on the inauguration. It gave me plenty of food for thought. If you are interested, you can read it here:  “Different Values.”