I have a 104 year-old grandmother, Nonni.* Until recently she lived by herself. Whenever I would go to visit her, I was always struck by how simple a life she lived compared to me. She lived in a tiny, one bedroom apartment with only a bed and a few pieces of furniture. She does not own a car, nor a computer, and certainly not a cellphone. She has no use for the Internet. Her most advanced technology: a small TV. If you sat and talked to her you would come to find out that the highlights of her day are the daily Mass she watches at 9:00 AM, and phone calls or visits from family. When you look into her eyes, you see true peace and joy.
Nonni has very few material possessions, and she could care less. What she does have is a powerful love. First for Jesus who she talks to throughout her day, and second for her family. Those are the two things that matter most to her. We can all learn a powerful lesson from Nonni. Stuff won’t make us happy or bring us joy. Love does. Simplify your life. You will have more time to love and to be loved. And therein lies the secret to lasting peace and joy.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” – John 15:11-12
*Nonni went to her eternal reward on January 14, 2014. She is dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Her example and inspiration will live on through many generations.