Truth is One

Simplicity

Truth is One
Monday, October 3, 2016

Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941), a Quaker missionary, wrote a slender spiritual classic called A Testament of Devotion. I will quote him at length, and you will see another example of perennial wisdom. We are obviously being taught by the One Spirit. Here is Kelly’s powerful description of the second simplicity that is the goal of mature adulthood:

The last fruit of holy obedience is the simplicity of the trusting child, the simplicity of the children of God. It is the simplicity which lies beyond complexity. It is the naiveté which is the yonder side of sophistication. It is the beginning of spiritual maturity, which comes after the awkward age of religious busyness for the Kingdom of God—yet how many are caught, and arrested in development, within this adolescent development of the soul’s growth! The mark of this simplified life is radiant joy. . . . Knowing sorrow to the depths it does not agonize and fret and strain, but in serene, unhurried calm it walks in time with the joy and assurance of Eternity. Knowing fully the complexity of men’s problems it cuts through to the Love of God and ever cleaves to Him. . . . It binds all obedient souls together in the fellowship of humility and simple adoration of Him who is all in all.

This amazing simplification comes when we “center down,” when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy Center where the breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to Him. Some of you know this holy, recreating Center of eternal peace and joy and live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing Center where the soul is at home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home, to feed upon green pastures and walk beside still waters and live in the peace of the Shepherd’s presence. It is the life beyond fevered strain. We are called beyond strain, to peace and power and joy and love and thorough abandonment of self. We are called to put our hands trustingly in His hand and walk the holy way, in no anxiety assuredly resting in Him. [1]

Gateway to Silence:
Live simply so that others may simply live.

Reference:
[1] Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion (HarperSanFrancisco: 1941), 45-46.

Image credit: Claude Monet in Argentuil (detail), Édouard Manet, 1874.

The work of the Center for Action and Contemplation is possible only because of friends and supporters like you!

Learn more about making a donation to the CAC.

FacebookTwitterEmailPrint