This brief meditation by Abbé Henri de Tourville teaches us about the main ingredient present in all the saints – Simplicity – which consequently is a very challenging grace to possess, because it is “the true way of living” – a way that is very counter-cultural. This meditation closes by touching on the simplistic lives that have been chosen by God for mysticism, and they come from “all sorts of walks of life.”
* * * * * *Perfection is not to be found in playing it safe, but in doing the least harm that we can, having regard to our present state and the difficulties inherent to our natures. It means not straining our abilities, but holding firm to a very unassuming simplicity and rejecting any attempts to become more perfect inwardly or in outward appearance than we really are. The saints were not those who played it safe and obeyed the rules, but the greatest gamblers in the world. They hardly wished to go beyond that ordinary amount of grace which they recognized and could feel without doubt they possessed. Let us share in such simplicity.
Perfection consists in holding fast to the very greatest simplicity. Simplicity is the final word in regards to the true way of living. It is the lesson our Lord teaches us when He proclaims that the Kingdom of heaven is for children and those that are child-like. But as with other virtues exhibited by children, so it is with simplicity; the virtues of children are in accordance to their age, not fruits of a victory obtained by the hard fought effort of the will. It is easy for us to have simplicity in childhood, but is even easier for us to lose it. And once we have lost it, it is only by a long and painful journey in our maturity that we achieve it again.
It happens to some souls to whom God has chosen to extend His grace, that they have a greater experience of the Indwelling of God. The mystery of grace given through mystical experience can never be explained. We only know that it happens to certain souls who can be in all sorts of walks of life.