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SIMPLE40 - Day 32 - Silence, Solitude, Surrender

SIMPLICITY is a spiritual discipline that trains the soul to fulfill its God-given mission.

As I mentioned yesterday, silence plays an important role in living a simple life. It helps us to listen to God, detach from worldly distractions, connect with others, and live in the present moment. By letting go of the distractions and worries that pull us away from the present, we can learn to be fully present in the moment and appreciate the simple blessings of life. In this way, silence can help us to cultivate a sense of gratitude and contentment with what we have, rather than always striving for more.


Solitude, which is not isolation or loneliness, is a regular companion of silence. You are not alone when you are in solitude. It's just you and God together, finding your quiet place so you can slow down, breathe, and be right where your feet are. St. Catherine of Siena calls this personal quiet place "the inner cell", where you are totally detached from the world, your worries, your occupations. It takes practice and perseverance to dwell in your "inner cell" of solitude with God, but it is most fruitful. Take small steps towards growing that space in your heart.


Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life...

We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside

some time to be with God and listen to him.

~Henri Nouwen


My husband and I recently read the book, "The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry" by John Mark Comer. It's a quick read on the current crisis of busyness and hurry in our culture. He talks about simplicity, silence and solitude and how necessary these things are to our lives if we want to grow in holiness.



Take Henri Nouwen's advice and set some time aside to be with God and listen to Him. Face the good, the bad and the ugly with Him. Let His loving voice speak over you and remind you WHOSE you are.


 I will let you decide how much time this should be. Sometimes all you need is a few minutes. Other times, you may find that an hour passes so quickly, you could easily go for another.

In case you missed it, I am keeping this link on St. Elizabeth of the Trinity right here:



Spring is almost here! If you can, get outside for some fresh air, intentional movement and deep breathing, preferably in silence for at least 40 minutes. Yard work and gardening can be intentional movement, too!



If you have children at home, invite them to join you in silent prayer time with God. This can be done right in your own living room. Set a timer for whatever amount of time you think is reasonable (yes, even 1 minute of silence is reasonable).


If you are not sure where to start, consider this little script by Fr. Thomas Dubay, from his book, "Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within"


“Now close your eyes because we are going to think about God living inside us, and then talk quietly to him. He is everywhere, and he is in your heart. Right now. (Pause) And he loves you much, much more than you love yourself. (Pause) Lord, I love you too. (Pause) Wow, you are really something! (Pause) You made me, you love me so much (Pause) How can I thank you enough? (Pause) Help me to think of you more often. I adore you and praise you. You made the whole earth and every big and little flower. (Pause). I love you. Goodbye for now!”

Isn't that just beautiful? I hope you and your kids enjoy it and see the fruit of prayer together.

Here is the room analysis form I shared yesterday to help you simplify your home:

Room Analysis
Download PDF • 6.66MB

today's recipe


Another Donahue family favorite that comes together quickly with great versatility depending on what you have on hand.


1 1⁄2 lb cooked ground beef (or finely chopped chicken or shredded pork)

2 med onions, finely chopped

1 1⁄2 Tbsp sesame oil

1 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger

1⁄2 tsp black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 tsp sea salt

crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

2 Tbsp white cooking wine

1⁄3 cup vegetable broth

9 cups shredded cabbage

1 1⁄2 cups shredded carrot

4 tsp soy sauce, or suitable alternative (more if you like)

Green onion for garnish (optional)



  1. Place meat in large pan and cook until browned over medium-high heat.

  2. Add onions and sesame oil. Cook until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium.

  3. Add spices, sweetener, red pepper, wine, and broth to the pan and stir well.

  4. Add the cabbage and stir to combine.Cook, stirring frequently until the cabbage slightly wilts.

  5. Add carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.

  6. Add soy sauce to taste and adjust flavorings as desired.

Serve plain or over rice or cauliflower rice. Garnish with green onions if desired.


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