In New Wine Wednesday

By Roxane Salonen

 

 

My high-school math teacher introduced me to the concept of K.I.S.S., or “Keep it Simple Silly.” It was his way of helping us boil down numeric equations to a manageable level.

I’ve found the K.I.S.S. method helpful in other areas, too, including my spiritual life. Recently, a friend reached out following the tragic death of basketball star Kobe Bryant. She’d read a Facebook post I’d written saying I’d be praying for his soul. “Why?” she’d asked. I wanted to respond, keeping K.I.S.S in mind.

Praying for the Dead

Inevitably, I shared an article explaining the Catholic view in-depth, including Scripture passages she’d appreciate. However, her response showed me that, despite my intentions, I’d betrayed the K.I.S.S. rule. “I struggled to understand some of this article,” she said. “I’ve always thought the Gospel was so simple.” 

The Gospel IS a simple message at its base, but now I felt stuck. I thought of the Adoration chapel I visit weekly, and how simple everything becomes for me there. But how could I begin to communicate the simplicity of walking into chapel each week and gazing upon our Lord? To transmit the warmth of receiving his uncomplicated, pure love? To translate the reality of being in the midst of Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the real presence of that very simple but profoundly mysterious, consecrated host?

When another friend had questioned me about praying for the dead earlier, she’d concluded that while she still didn’t understand the practice, “Prayer is always a good thing, so, keep praying!” We can always find something in common to embrace.

A Simple Faith

Our Catholic faith is simple, but simultaneously, simply profound. Our only recourse to complication might be in turning to the One who alone can move a muddled heart.

In today’s “Magnificat” meditation, Fr. Jacques Philippe suggests how to keep our hearts pure and undefiled. “The most powerful guard of a pure heart is the spirit of faith by which we see God’s hand in everything that comes to us … this is what the saints did, and (it) made them free.”

Oh, that we might become more aware of how each moment of our day comes from God’s hand, including those in which we feel unable to explain ourselves. In these moments, we can focus our attention back on Jesus, who alone can solve all maladies and misfires.

I think of another brilliant rumination of “kiss” from Mother Teresa. “Pain and suffering have come into your life,” she once said, “but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”

How Do You Simplify Your Life?

Above the monstrance at our church’s small Adoration chapel, a crucifix hangs. In that simple image, the complications of life disappear, returning me to our Lord’s beautiful essence. There, I come as close as possible, this side of heaven, to feeling true peace.

Thank you, Jesus, for your KISS of life. May it penetrate my being as I leave the Adoration chapel each week, better equipped to bring your simple, pure love into the world.

How did you try to simplify something that has become complicated by focusing on Jesus?

 

About the author:

Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five from Fargo, N.D., is an award-winning children’s author and freelance writer who also enjoys Catholic radio hosting and speaking. Roxane co-authored former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino’s memoir, Redeemed by Grace. Her work is featured on “Peace Garden Passage” at her website, roxanesalonen.com. Find her also on Twitter @peacegardenama.

 

Showing 4 comments
  • Gwen
    Reply

    I agree about Eucharistic Adoration. My 35=year old son died on Dec 16, 2019, and my entire life has changed – this is the heaviest cross God has ever placed on me. No other sadness or grief compares. At Adoration, I find peace being in our Lord’s presence, and of course at Holy Mass! Otherwise, my emotions are raw and sensitive. It hasn’t even been two months yet, although it feels like years. Please may I ask that you included me in your personal prayers when you are also in Adoration. I pray for my son and all others that I loved that they may be released from Purgatory if they haven’t been already. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!

    • Roxane Salonen
      Reply

      Oh Gwen, yes, willingly. My oldest son, 24, was born on Dec. 16, 1995, so with that little connection, my heart breaks all the more. I cannot truly enter into your great sorrow of course, but will share that my mother has been very drawn to Adoration, especially after my father’s death, so I have thought a lot about how only God can console us in these deep places, where only He can penetrate. But he is drawing you closer through it and that is a beautiful thing. I am so grateful that, despite how hard this must be on a daily basis, you can find refuge and feel his merciful consolation. Your son will be in my prayers and if you are up to sharing his name, it would connect me even more. God bless you. XOXO

  • Elizabeth
    Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful message. It brought me such peace. THANK YOU for your insights.

  • Roxane Salonen
    Reply

    Elizabeth, it gladdens my heart to hear this. Thank you for taking the time to share your response with me. Praise Him! 🙂

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