Simplicity - St Paisios
Secular people say: “how lucky are the wealthy people who live in palaces and have all kinds of conveniences!” in truth, blessed are those have succeeded in simplifying their lives and freeing themselves from the yoke of worldly progress, of the many conveniences that have become inconveniences, and have subsequently rid themselves of the dreadful anxiety that plagues so many people today. If man does not simplify his life, he will end up tormenting himself. But if he simplifies it, all his anxiety will go away.
The monastic life is unknown today. Most people believe that they should not go into any trouble or be deprived of anything. But if they thought in monastic terms and lived with more simplicity, they would find peace they are seeking. Instead, they are filled with anxiety and despair. They say, “So and so was very successful because he built two apartment buildings or because he learned five languages and so on. And I do not even own one apartment and I do not even speak one foreign language. Oh, I am good for nothing!” A person with a car thinks. “This man has a better car; I should buy one too.” So he buys the better car, but he still feels no joy because someone else has an even better one. He buys the even better car but then he learns that others have their own private aeroplanes and he is unhappy again. There is no end to this. But a person who doesn’t have a car rejoices when he praises God. “Thank God,” he says “even if I don’t have a car, I have strong legs and I can walk. How many people are there in the world who do not have legs!” And a lame person says, “There are some people who are missing both legs,” and that makes them rejoice.
Ingratitude and greed cause a lot of harm. The person possessed with material things is always possessed by worries and anxiety because he trembles at the thought that he may lose both his belongings and his soul.”