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Written by Bianca Tropeano

The Christian lowers himself

“We should not put ourselves above others, but indeed lower ourselves, place ourselves a the service of others, become small with the small and poor with the poor. It is regrettable to see a Christian who does not want to lower himself, who does not want to serve. A Christian who struts about is ugly: this is not Christian, it is pagan. The Christian serves, he lowers himself.

-Pope Francis. December 18, 2013.
General Audience, St.Peter’s Square.

Going For Broke

Our Christian sacrifice has a purpose, and it is always for the sake of love. Every Christian sacrifice is an opportunity to go for broke on the greatest love of your life and your ultimate happiness. It is a bold choice against selfishness, for the good of another, and in favor of a rich relationship with God. Fundamentally, sacrifice is an act of trust. It requires trust that God is the author of our happiness, not us. This trust is the basis of a relationship with God and the doorway to true freedom and lasting happiness. This trust is faith.

Summer 2010

The Essential Ingredient

The most trivial work, the least action when inspired by love, is often of greater merit than the most outstanding achievement. It is not on their face value that God judges our deeds even when they bear the stamp of apparent holiness, but solely on the measure of love we put into them. . . And there is no one who can object that he is incapable of even this much, for such love is within the reach of all men.
St. Therese of Lisieux

I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I do know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, He will not ask, “How many good things have you done in your life?” He will ask, “How much love did you put into what you did?”
Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

All of this is in addition to our constant work of friendship ministry with the poor, which includes taking people to church, meeting with them in their homes, delivering food, meeting unique needs, and supporting new mothers. All of these works are ineffectual without love. When anything in our life becomes more important than love, it has become more important than God. Putting love first seems simple, and it is simple. The difficult thing is to not let it become complicated (Ecclus. 7:29). Simplicity requires courage.

Easter 2006

Jesus as Dump Truck Driver

People often ask me what I do. I usually give a weak answer instead of being gutsy and saying, “I’m trying to imitate Jesus.” So what does Jesus do? Jesus is a carpenter and “the savior of the world” (Jn 4:42). He saves the world through love.

Saving the world with love is different than saving the world with science or with stuff. Jesus could have arrived with a heavenly dump truck full of things. Instead, He arrived as an infant, and He left us still wanting and working on our problems.

Christmas 2009

Jesus… is my problem

A contractor we know is a convert and former heavyweight pro boxer. I asked if he was interested in doing missionary work. He meekly declined. He said that too many evangelists pretend that Jesus will solve all of your problems, but his own experience is that problems seemed to only begin with meeting Jesus.

Jesus does not really make chaos or problems. He stirs up existing problems and makes us aware of the false peace we strike with the world. Jesus ruins this false peace and gives us peace grounded on truth.

Summer 2008

Street Hustling and Panhandling

Unless you never leave a gated community, you have experienced some form of street hustle. This video tries to demythologize the hustle and break down the components of a street hustle. Everyone needs to help others, and in order to help others, true and false requests for help need to be seperated.

When helping the poor, please help people that you know well and support organized charities. You can also donate to our efforts at A Simple House.

Kansas City model for Young Adult Ministry

These are three interviews with Carrie Kafka. Carrie was instrumental in starting two successful ministries in Kansas City. The first ministry is a series of outreaches aimed at young adults, and it is called City on A Hill. The second ministry is an intentional community of young adult Catholics, and I am not aware of anything like it anywhere else. It is called the Meyer Catholic Quarter or MCQ. These ministries are models for work in other cities. Please share these videos with other people working in young adult ministry!


Called To Be Saints

The Essential Ingredient

The most trivial work, the least action when inspired by love, is often of greater merit than the most outstanding achievement. It is not on their face value that God judges our deeds even when they bear the stamp of apparent holiness, but solely on the measure of love we put into them. . . And there is no one who can object that he is incapable of even this much, for such love is within the reach of all men.
St. Therese of Lisieux

The Homeless: In Their Own Words

This is retro Simple House!  A few years ago, we interviewed two of our friends about how to live outside.  Some of their survival strategies are very interesting, and they are being frank about their situation.