Minimalism and how to change the world

A bar of iron costs $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you can make of yourself with God’s help.

A few days before World Youth Day in Panama, 2019, Cardinal Pietro Parolin encouraged young people to transform the world by imitating Mary. “The whole world wants a better world, but how to do it?” We follow Mary’s example! We must get to know God and then put ourselves at God’s disposal, Parolin says,  

Mary said: “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” If all Christians “put themselves in the same disposition of spirit… in the same way of acting to truly change the world, little by little” then a solid change would be brought about in our world,” Parolin said. (A Moment with Mary – April 4, 2019)

It is very simple, like minimalism, which is a lifestyle philosophy that aims at reducing everything to the essentials, getting rid of everything surplus. That’s a belief of the guru of organization on Netflix Marie Kondo who helps families tidy up their houses.
Kondo sold millions of copies of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. As a child Kondo said, "I was obsessed with what I could throw away. One day, I had a kind of break down and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. 
“When I came to… I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying." 
Modern minimalism was born in the 1960s, but the saints already taught these principles in their words and actions, living simply with a focus on Jesus Christ. We can accomplish this by following six simple rules.

Rule 1 Get rid of everything you don’t need. FACT: Recently I had to clean some files out of my filing cabinet just to add a new file. Rule 2 Don’t become attached to material things. St Francis of Assisi got rid of his possessions, even his clothes, in front of his father and the bishop.

Rule 3 Keep order and simplicity at home. Rule 4 Appreciate the value of your time and be selective with your commitments. Rule 5 Keep your mind calm. Rule 6 Less is more. “If I give away everything I own… but do not have love, I gain nothing” (Corinthians 13:1-3). (Aletia, March 25, 2019)

You can indeed have a rich life if you have love! And the essential requirement to change the world is to have love! In “Faith Hope and Love but the greatest of these is Love” Brendan McGuire says:

“Love never stops but neither does the work of love, which means we have to continue to dig deeper and to continue to work harder at loving our parents; at loving our children; at loving our siblings; at loving even the stranger and most especially the one we do not like, the one that is a bur to us.”

McGuire’s reflection ends with, “…there is faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love.” 

(543 words)

By Ken Rolheiser