The Power of Joyful Simplicity
There is something radically transformative about encountering a person who has less materially than you and yet is quantifiably more joyful than you. There is something of a silent homily to be found in the person who has learned the secret love of the simple life while not condemning those who still cling to the goods of the world. On numerous occasions Jesus tried to teach us this fact. In the sermon on the mount he will tell us that the poor shall inherit the earth; and when a rich man asks Jesus the secret to becoming perfect, the young man is dismayed to find that perfection (at least for him) is to be found in giving all that he has to the poor. Jesus is careful as well to press simplicity upon the seventy two disciples who will go out as evangelists without purse or bag or sandals.
You see, in the new evangelization simplicity is not one option among many; it is a must. To reach the hearts and minds of a culture steeped in adoration of created things only a radical simplicity will do. This is as true today as it was when Jesus spoke; or when the son of a cloth merchant named Francis renounced his inheritance in the thirteenth century. There is power in a chosen poverty for the love of God and His people.
This does not mean however that you must become another Francis of Assisi; no every saint is different. But what we all must do is give up whatever we can give up and that with the help of Jesus.