Give Me the Simple Life


“Give Me the Simple Life” is a chapter in the book Saint Vincent de Paul: His Mind and His Manner (pp. 84-86) by Jack Melito, C.M., published in 2010 by the Vincentian Studies Institute at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.  Here Fr. Melito illustrates how Vincent de Paul urges us to live simply.  What does this mean?  How is it done? For Vincent the answers did not involve quantitative measures but qualitative ones which point to living as Jesus lived.  Even the great poet, Henry David Thoreau, though not ‘religious,’ stressed the importance of living simply.  Both the religious guide and the humanistic guru, then, counsel living simply and realizing, ultimately, its liberating openness to the inherent beauty of life itself.  Simple, deliberate living is a personal style.  There is no one-size-fits-all.  For Vincent, it was “the livery of Christ conceived in the Spirit of the poor.”