Friday, December 29, 2017

Transformation in Christ: True Simplicity Part II

Transformation in Christ: True Simplicity Part 2

The following is from the Chapter True Simplicity from Transformation of Christ from Von Hildabrand, all regular text is highlighted quotes from the book, any italic are comments 

This section of "True Simplicity" is pointing out that that we only need to focus  "The one necessary" (the "unum necessarium") which is God. It is not our intellect or lack of it that defines are simplicity, its not our attitude that defines our simplicity but how we look too and focus on Christ who helps transforms us. We must try to see the face of Christ and its through the Church we can attain this through the liturgy and sacraments. Also it is not a matter of just being good, but its the single denominator that we bring all things to Christ.

These are proposed ways to help us attain Simplicity
  • Must look to offer up all or activities and being to God
  • Must be gratefull what God has given us 
  • Must not look for self respect as a means or looking for praise

True simplicity comes only from single-hearted to God
Aspire to an all-pervasive and must not inward simplicity. Only to God only the living God who manifests Himself in Revelation, may we so deliver our whole life as to keep our regard fixed on one the exclusively: the "unum necessarium". Therefore, all forms of false simplicity, except the one based on a deficiency of intellectual gifts, constitute an insuperable obstacle to the attainment of true simplicity. false simplicity is not rooted in a deliberate, guilty attitude; thus, by fully surrendering themselves to Christ they may retrieve abundance. No deficiency of natural dispositions can prevent us formation in Christ. He, too, who is simple out of helplessness and to me undifferentiated because of his lack of gifts, may attain to true simplicity if transformed by Christ.
Brother per or the holy Curé d'Ars. In them we see examples, not of false but of true simplicity, which however is not an expression of their lack of intellectual differentiation but a fruit of the full dedication of their lives to Christ. Intellectual plainness as such does not facilitate our progress towards that true simplicity, which was quite compatible with the genius of a St. Paul or a St. Augustine; but neither is it an invincible impediment to such simplicity. No longer do we judge things from different points of view, from that of our temporal interests, for example, or of the interests of others, or of our consideration for public opinion.
The light of Christ simplifies all things
Yet, in order to establish such an enriching relationship to God a mere formal reference to God as the epitome and fountainhead of being is not by itself sufficient. We must actually throw ourselves of the lumen Christi, without attempting to adapt it to our own nature or to falsify it by our natural categories. We must not humanize and interpret in an easy oversimplified manner that One in whom is all plenitude of divinity, lest we succumb to the pitfall of false simplicity. We must envision that face of Christ which the Liturgy of the Holy Church proposes to our eyes, that is, the true, distorted, authentic face of Christ.
We only take true account of a genuine good if we see it in the face where it properly stands in the thought of God. Nor do we fully know or love a created good of genuine value unless we honor and love God more than that good.   In other words, true simplicity ensues from our bringing things to one denominator. That one denominator to which we should bring all things is Christ Thus will our life receive its inward unity. By the light of true consciousness, all things in our mind and our life are confronted with Christ, and consequent with one another
Plain honesty contributes to true simplicity
The man of pride uses the manifoldness of his interests and problems, so to speak, as a retinue subservient to his luxury. He surrounds himself with a court of multiple things r he has lost the center of all comprehensive unity, God nor does he take it upon himself to find his way back to that center again He glories in his unsolved complications and attributes a "prepos terous" emphasis to many unimportant things about him because he fails to give its due weight to the one really Important thing, the "unum necessarium". other hand, The man of plain honesty and simplicity, on the abhors that pageant of complications, not because he enjoys his own sweet primitively (this pose of false simplicity is no less a work of pride than is the attitude of complexity), but because he is entirely concentrated on the "unum necessarium".
Continuity in aspiring to God engenders simplicity
Above all, he never quits his basic attitude: an attitude essen tially aspiring towards God, receptive, and steeped in charity. The truly simple man always preserves his basic identity: though his register of tones be designed to meet a vast diversity in types of situations, that register itself always remains the same and is always governed by one unchanging central attitude .  
Type of people  markedly discontinuous and wanting in changes so abrupt and radical as to create the impression of change of personal identity. Such people are apt to standards entirely different from their previous ones; the pectedly lose their taste for what fascinated them but a moment before.It might indeed be said of such a person that two souls (or more) live in his breast 
Structural trait of continuity. So far as we possess virtue, we always keep in contact with what we have formerly recognized to be valid.
Continuity exclusively toward one natural good may threaten simplicity
A person confined within his natural attitude may not squander his interests on a multitude of trivial irrelevancies: he may concentrate upon an important cause, consecrate himself to a noble vocation, or be overwhelmed with a great love. However, he will then be exhausted, as it were, b that one thing, valuable, maybe but yet only one among many human concerns. Everything else is obscured, and he cannot afford to pay adequate attention eve to a genuine good if it be unconnected with the thing which now engrosses his interest. With this, new forces spring up in man; an abundance of spiritual intensity arises from his participation in the life of Christ. We shall be on the road towards true simplicity by investing the unum necessarium with an unconditional primacy in our life. 
Our full self donation to Christ, the surrender as Cardinal Newman has called it, the heroic relinquishment of the natural basis and of our natural selves: such is the primal act conducive to simplicity. At this point we become aware of the great task of ridding ourselves of all inordinate attachment to creaturely goods: a task which is the chiefobject ofallascetical training. Throughout the Gospels, the Lord admonishes us thereto. "He that loveth father or mother more than me and he that loveth son or daugh ter more than me, is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37). Christ does not withhold from our eyes the consequences of our failure so to detach ourselves from all goods, our failure to acquire freedom for he untem necessarium and hence for true simplicity.
Yet we must live in the world
The will of God that we should apply ourselves to the man tasks which are inherent in life.  The primacy of the unum necessarium cannot dispense us from our several duties concerning our fellow men, our profession, our daily bread. First step, we part with everything that is sinful and opposed to God. Beyond that, however, we also discriminate against every. thing that, without being actually sinful, is out of accord with the world of Christ or apt to divert us from God.  Such are, for instance, certain illustrated magazines, fashionable beaches, music halls, shows, many cinema pictures, etc. If we confront these things with Chris we shall feel them to be incompatible in quality with His world.
We must not even fully abandon ourselves to natural goods However, even as regards goods or tasks which, being objec ively valuable or at worst neutral, can stand the test before the face of Christ, we must never abandon ourselves unqualifiedly to their immanent logic.  lt is not sufficient to confront everything with Christ, and having decided that a given thing does not contradict Christ, to abandon oneself to that thing without any further qualification The Christian's relation to what is naturally valuable, too, is a different one from that ofthe non-Christian
We must "baptize" all of our actions
Therefore, we must also guard against being morally indifferent but necessary functions of submerged in while we eat, or dress; we put life. accounts, etc., we must our in order or occupy our mind never allow any of these functions to contrary, entirely the being expressly baptize all, We must, on reason possessed by them these things in the sense of not of our but rather we must dominate them of our conscious.
The institutional and corporate aspects of such a sanctification of life, all-important as they are.  That specific connection is restricted, here, to definite provinces of being (notably, material ejects), and within these limits, again, to definite exemplars consecrated by a particular act. There is, further, the entirely different and unique case of marriage, a high creaturely good which Christ has erected, generically, into a Sacrament. 
We must offer everything to God
First, we may expressly offer as a sacrifice to God all our works our joys and sufferings, whatever goods we are blessed with and whatever evils we have to endure. direct The relationship with God and our mind is again and again reoriented to God.
We must thank God for all things
Thus, in a spirit of gratitude, through the medium of creaturely things we again and again hark back to the "Father of all lights" and by all gifts we are reminded of the Giver: "In all things give thanks".

We must see God reflected in created goods

There is,finally, a third way ofinstituting a connection between God and all goods, tasks, and activities. It consists in a comprehension of the profound analogies that inhere in the universe of things. The Christian is to discover God in the cosmos, not only as its author (causa prima) but as its primal exemplar or paragon. Once he is touched by the lumen Christi, man will see the world with new eyes.

We must view all things with eyes of Faith

There is question of an objectively preexiste connection. Certainly that connection is not visible except to the eyes of Faith. Vision illumined by the Faith is alone able to fathom these depths, which remain inaccessible to the natural light of reason. Further, this connection with God is not something supe posed on the object; rather it leads us through its innermost core to God.
We must conform our life to that hierarchy

We may well adjust these to the hierarchy of objects as determined by their measure of representing God. By keeping in mind the ideal order of values conceived from this point of view, we achieve a step in making our life simpler and bringing it to the one great denominator which is Christ

Only if we receive every good (by the methods just described) in mindfulness of God and qua gifts and tokens of God if in all values we are anxious to discern and to meet God then the formal simplifying power of every value as such will become operative and conducive to true simplicity. Values elevate us above a multiplicity of interests.

Values unify communities and individuals

A great enemy of true simplicity is our dependence on peripheral considerations such as human respect, the pleasure derived from being spoiled, a comfortable life, freedom from cares, this or that cherished habit, and so forth. The more we are captivated by peripheral interests, the less simple our life will be. Some people are so anxious to have the proper utensil, instrument, or contrivance on hand at every occasion and in every possible emergency (nor will that object do unless it is their personal property) that they never have time or energy left for attending to really great and relevant things. They are completely enchained by their concern about a multitude of superficial affairs to which they are fettered by many small ties. The slightest disturbance in their accustomed comfort deprives them of peace.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Transformation in Christ: True Simplicity Part 1

Transformation in Christ: True Simplicity Part 1

The following is from the Chapter True Simplicity from Transformation of Christ from Von Hildabrand, all regular text is highlighted quotes from the book, any italic are commentsSimplicity in the sense of an inward unity of life.

This part of "True Simplicity" goes over how lack of unity in terms of keeping things simple, if we seem to be focused on other things outside our relationship with God and others, then we can split ourselves and not have inward unity. Also can't have too much involvement outside our faith, plus wealth can be distraction.  Simplicity is an alignment of looking toward to God in everything we do like how the cosmos line up.  Simplicity doesn't mean lack of means or a primitive mind, or even stupidicy.  Also simplicity is not possible by looking to  find ways to avoid complexity.  In addition being childlike doesn't necessary guarantee's simplicity because its not by forceful innocence which is looking to avoid accountability or responsibility in handling things.  Simply put, simplicity is not easy to attain and requires special graces from God

Simplicity contrasts with disunity

Contrasts, in the first place, with the disunity in the sould of those whose lives are filled, now by one thing, now by another, who lose themselves in the motley variegation of life, who do not seek for an intergration of their actions and conduct by one dominate principle.  Mutually contradictory currents. A person of this kind is said to be split; his life lacks inward unity. 

Simplicity contrasts with psychological convolutedness Secondly, true simplicity is opposed to complexity taken in a specific sense. It points to the object, they are always compelled to choose bypaths and detours.

Simplicity does not mistake complexity for profundity

For people blind to the trait of simplicity associated with the metaphysical wealth and height of being; they overlooked the metaphysical law that the higher is the simpler it is , in a sense.

Simplicity avoids the cult of the abstruse

The false type of consciousness, particularly its second form: over development of the cognitive attitude - self-contained process. This type takes pleasure in his emotional detours and blind-alleys which provide him with a sense of being deep and interesting.  The mind that wallows in complexity is unable to grasp the logos of what is a straightforward way.

Simplicity of Primitively vs simplicity of inner unity

We turn to the subject of true Christian simplicity, the antithesis to all forms of disunity and complexity. In the spiritual person, the principle of mutual interpenetration is far more predominant even than in the living organisms as such.

The character of simplicity (in the sense of condensation of being)grows along the ascending hierarchy of the cosmos until it culminates in the one Eternal Word of God.  The absolute simplicity of God precludes the distinction, not only between form and matter but between existence and essence, between actus and potential.  Yet, God is the infinite plenitude of being.

Inner spiritual poverty is not true spiritual simplicity

Two opposite kinds of simplicity in general - the simplicity of primitive and crudity.  In describing people of primitive minds as simple, we refer to their inner poverty and their incapacity to respond to the depth and the qualitative manifoldness of the cosmos - impoverished in meaning and devoid of spirituality; in fact, a small section of that sphere, his household economy, may swallow up his life.  He is absorbed by concerns of economic usefulness. His conception of the world is simple in the sense of lacking content and differentiation. It is uncomplicated; but freedom from complication is obtained at the cost of renunciation of metaphysical depth and abundance.

Stupidity is not spiritual simplicity

We may call a person simple because he is so poorly equipped intellectually as to be incapable of understanding things. His mind is only able to grasp quite simple situations or relations, that is to say, such as enclose a very modest content of meaning.  His mind is marred by a similar incapacity with regard to values. The organic primitivity again has nothing to do with true simplicity.

Reductive simplicity of platitude is not spiritual simplicity

Those who interpret the entire cosmos after the pattern of the lowest sphere. From attuning themselves to the element of reality that confronts them or attempting to plumb its depth, they drag down everything into the sphere in which they feel themselves at home.

Their complacent pride impels them to treat all things in a cavalier fashion. This type of person is not awkward or clumsy but completely uninitiated. A great many popular philosophies are marked with this shallow simplicity. Their own lives run smoothly without friction, conflicts or complications because they contrive to master all its aspects by dint of a few schematic notions. 

Affected child likeness is not true simplicity

Falsely childlike manner, a kind of deliberate innocence. Such a person fails to take account of the distance he must travel in order to rise from a lower mode of being to a higher one; He resides concealed. Misinterpreting the evangelical words, "Unless ye become as children," he enjoys his pose of being childlike and construes his petty and simplifying conception of the metaphysical situation of man. Whenever he should carry his cross he somehow evades it, mistaking Christ's transfiguration of all suffering for an elimination of all suffering

It is not a simple thing to attain true simplicity

The deliberate pose of simplicity (which is present in the last-named case) springs from the illusory belief that simplicity can be promptly attained from below upwards, whereas, in fact it results from the establishment of communion with Him who, by virtue of His incommensurable highness, condenses all in one per eminentiam.