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The Practice of the Presence of God

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Alternative cover edition of ISBN 0883681056 can be found here Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely ope Alternative cover edition of ISBN 0883681056 can be found here Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. As a humble cook, Brother Lawrence learned an important lesson through each daily chore: The time he spent in communion with the Lord should be the same, whether he was bustling around in the kitchen—with several people asking questions at the same time—or on his knees in prayer. He learned to cultivate the deep presence of God so thoroughly in his own heart that he was able to joyfully exclaim, “I am doing now what I will do for all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, adoring Him, and loving Him with all my heart.” This unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.


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Alternative cover edition of ISBN 0883681056 can be found here Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely ope Alternative cover edition of ISBN 0883681056 can be found here Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. As a humble cook, Brother Lawrence learned an important lesson through each daily chore: The time he spent in communion with the Lord should be the same, whether he was bustling around in the kitchen—with several people asking questions at the same time—or on his knees in prayer. He learned to cultivate the deep presence of God so thoroughly in his own heart that he was able to joyfully exclaim, “I am doing now what I will do for all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, adoring Him, and loving Him with all my heart.” This unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.

30 review for The Practice of the Presence of God

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fergus

    Brother Lawrence was a simple man. But he was happy. Supremely happy, he said, for he had reached the summation of his Life’s Quest. Now, Aquinas said the pinnacle of all our spiritual experiences is to See God. Did Brother Lawrence achieve that height? Well, I believe so. Just because he was POOR IN SPIRIT... It all started when he was eighteen. As an uneducated soldier in the Thirty Years War, he, Nicolas Herman - as he was then called - saw a barren tree in a wintry field and suddenly grasped its Brother Lawrence was a simple man. But he was happy. Supremely happy, he said, for he had reached the summation of his Life’s Quest. Now, Aquinas said the pinnacle of all our spiritual experiences is to See God. Did Brother Lawrence achieve that height? Well, I believe so. Just because he was POOR IN SPIRIT... It all started when he was eighteen. As an uneducated soldier in the Thirty Years War, he, Nicolas Herman - as he was then called - saw a barren tree in a wintry field and suddenly grasped its inner meaning. He was thunderstruck and transfixed. The message? That like the tree, all of us - in our ordinary, unoccupied state, stripped of all our endless diversions and distractions - will remain denuded of all REAL and LASTING comforts, in empty surroundings, unless God steps in. And in the same way that He sends light, heat and rain in the spring, to bring the tree back to life, He will eventually give new Life to our Hearts. But we have to ask Him in. Now, wait a minute - that doesn’t make sense! If we need comfort nowadays, we just press a button and adjust the thermostat, right? Not quite. Let’s put it another way. If you’re that tree, and for all the perks that go with being JUST a tree (and just think of never again being forced to Be someone you aren’t!) you might - just might - want to have the comfort of a little MEANING in your life! I think we ALL want that. So, Lawrence says, all we have to do is sincerely ask God for meaning. And we’ll get it. In His time. And if we never afterwards STOP talking to Him - about whatever pops into our minds, however trivial... we’ll always find Him, in whatever we DO. For, He- like the tree - is just pure BEING. As I said, Brother Lawrence was a simple man! But his simple method works Wonders. Why do I say that? Because there’s a wonderfully beneficial psychological underpinning to it all. Because if we Believe, and Pray constantly, after a while we’ll lose our interior monologue, our ceaseless griping and comparing ourselves to others, and become our authentic selves. And we’ll finally evade our Shadows. Because our so-called social self will drop away, as our self-consciousness itself drops away. Natural living is all that will remain - just like the tree in the field. And if we go the full way, giving our all, one day we will reach Poverty of Spirit. The Lowest Point - and, paradoxically, the Pinnacle. Because whether your tree blossoms, grows dense foliage, or sheds... is now God’s business. That’s called simply: Abandonment to divine providence. Timeless time. And we all have a glimpse of that now and then. And those are the times we are Real: and it does happen, now and then. It’s not continuous, for we are flawed and will always lapse into our precious murky Shadowlands. Heaven help us! But, as T.S. Eliot says, we only LIVE in our Timeless Moments. And once we KNOW - listening to Brother Lawrence - how to get there, we’ll finally be sure of Who we are and what our Purpose is. And, you know, even if your own background is oriented toward Eastern religions, you’ll recognize the pattern. For as the Japanese Zen saint Dogen said in the Middle Ages: I won’t even stop at the valley’s brook for fear that my shadow may flow into the world. For self-assertion, like a shadow, can disturb the world... And ego is the OPPOSITE of poverty of Spirit. If you’re content within your soul, why would you bother with riches won by competition? Why on earth should we stick your neck into the endless and fruitless power games of the world, to be dominated and victimized again and again by their and your endless Shadows? Be like the tree. And keep up your part of the inner dialogue with God - for Brother Lawrence ingenuously says His answers will always come, and provide you with the protection and comfort of spiritual foliage, and with the real and continual fruits of the Spirit. And that’s a pretty fair return for just asking that our lives have a little meaning, isn’t it?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    It is truly fitting and proper—somewhat ironic too—that the author of the shortest, sweetest, and perhaps the most useful guide to prayer and union with God was written by a Catholic who never became a saint, never became a priest, and worked almost his entire life in the kitchen. Nicholas Herman grew up amid the violence and upheavals of The Thirty Years War, and, being a poor peasant, he joined the army in order to eat and survive. One winter, while still a soldier, he happened to gaze upon the It is truly fitting and proper—somewhat ironic too—that the author of the shortest, sweetest, and perhaps the most useful guide to prayer and union with God was written by a Catholic who never became a saint, never became a priest, and worked almost his entire life in the kitchen. Nicholas Herman grew up amid the violence and upheavals of The Thirty Years War, and, being a poor peasant, he joined the army in order to eat and survive. One winter, while still a soldier, he happened to gaze upon the bare branches of a tree, and he knew in that instant not only that its leaves and its fruits were certain to arrive, in good time, in the coming spring and in the summer, but also that grace would surely bring him to a flowering and a ripeness too. That tree had "flashed upon [his] soul the fact of God" and from that moment he never ceased to burn with Love. After being wounded and discharged from the army, Nicholas first worked briefly as a footman, and then entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery. Considered too unlettered to be a priest and too ignorant to perform any but the most menial tasks, he was assigned to cook and clean in the kitchen. The name he chose for himself was Lawrence, for St. Lawrence was the Patron Saint of Cooks, having achieved his martyrdom by being cooked to death on a grate. (“Turn me over! I'm done on this side!” St. Lawrence cried out to his torturers, and this dark witticism eventually earned him the additional title of Patron Saint of Comedians.) By concentrating on the simple, uncomplicated duties of the kitchen, Brother Lawrence developed his method of prayer. Whether he was picking up a stray straw from a broom or washing a bowl or a plate, he continually sought “to fix [himself] firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him.” This practice, after years, led him to great peace, a conviction of God's presence, thoughtfulness toward others, and an extraordinary sweetness of manner. He was revered within the monastery, admired without, and eventually the aide of a local bishop arrived to crystallize Brother Lawrence's spiritual teachings by transcribing his conversation, which—along with a few letters of spiritual direction—make up The Practice of the Presence of God. If you can, try to obtain a copy of The Practice which, like this one, also includes the “maxims.” The Practice is a better read, for it conveys clearly the sweet personality of the aging friar, but the maxims are more succinct, and numbered, and thus a more efficient aid to reflection and meditation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    April 9, 2018: Concluding another official read of this book, although whether it be the fifth, sixth or more, who can say? In any event, this will never be a closed book on my shelf, mostly because I want to be ‘practicing the presence of God’ always. Guardian Angel help me. The weekly reflections from the French and Austrian Carmelites were a wonderful supplement to the text to be kept alongside the book for the next read. (Scroll down for original review.) February 27, 2018: Listened to the au April 9, 2018: Concluding another official read of this book, although whether it be the fifth, sixth or more, who can say? In any event, this will never be a closed book on my shelf, mostly because I want to be ‘practicing the presence of God’ always. Guardian Angel help me. The weekly reflections from the French and Austrian Carmelites were a wonderful supplement to the text to be kept alongside the book for the next read. (Scroll down for original review.) February 27, 2018: Listened to the audio version again today. Listening is the easy part. Remembering to bring Him into every moment is the constant struggle. That is why it is so good to keep returning and rereading this book. February 14, 2018: Began Lenten journey with the French and Austrian Carmelites, reflecting along with Brother Lawrence in his ‘practicing the presence of God’. Doing the retreat on-line, for free here: here. Weekly reflections are emailed every Friday throughout Lent. The book itself can also be read on-line or downloaded to your kindle or computer for free. There are also more expensive versions available with various additional options. I am using this version mostly, but also a more simplified kindle and an audio version. ORIGINAL REVIEW: The Practice of the Presence of God is a little gem. But it is also a book you have to be receptive to appreciate. Without this requisite receptivity, its pearls of wisdom would be wasted. But with the right frame of mind and heart, it is the perfect book. Perfect in that while it can be read in one hour; mastery of its central concept requires a lifetime. Well, at least for this soul ... and a very long lifetime at that. And I write that without the least trace of humility, remorse or even chagrin—as a simple statement of fact. Indeed, growth in virtue does require total commitment and extended preparation time. I'm on at least my seventh reading of this book and each has been a sincere attempt to take in the saint's simple way of constantly living in God's Holy Presence. I just pray I've made some progress! Our humble author, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, assures us that his own journey along this path toward ‘practicing the presence of God’ took him many years as well. So, despair should not deter one's efforts. I like that the word ‘practice’ is used in the title, and indeed throughout the book, because it recognizes the fallibility in human nature. We will have to creep, crawl, stumble and fall many times in this effort before we will ever be able to actually walk in God's presence. That is Brother Lawrence's goal – and presumably the goal of any self-professed Christian: to actually walk hand-in-hand with Our LORD. In the meantime, He carries us. Brother Lawrence and his solitary legacy bear much in common with Father De Caussade and his work, Abandonment to Divine Providence. Both men were post-Reformation, French religious, from rather obscure backgrounds, who left us one primary work of spiritual insight comprised of meditations and letters collected postmortem. Few hard facts can be substantiated about either man – even such basic information as definitive dates of birth and death, although we do know approximate dates. Both were extremely humble men who preferentially would have lived quiet lives far away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of society; but they were not given that chance. God’s will was to call these two holy men out from their peaceful solitude to minister to their neighbors. Brother Lawrence lived and worked most of his life at the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites on the Rue de Vaugirard in Paris, where he spent many years working in the kitchen. He died in 1691 at around 80 years of age. A year later his Abbot collected what could be found from Brother Lawrence's letters, spiritual writings and recorded conversations, put them together and this comprises what we know today as The Practice of the Presence of God. Unfortunately, upon publication, Practice became associated with the controversy of the day, the heresy then causing so much bitter debate, Quietism. Although it is beyond the scope of this review and the abilities of this writer to discuss the theological aspects of Quietism, it is important to understand that one tenet of this heresy bore a similarity to Brother Lawrence's principle theses, complete abandonment to the will of God, and therefore was used by advocates of the Quietist heresy to justify their position. As it would be some years before this struggle could be resolved, especially in France, Practice suffered the taint of guilt by association – albeit a slim association at best – and fell into disfavor in the country of its birth. Fortunately for us, our book was picked up by other Christian denominations and carried to other countries where it has spread around the world. Since its initial printing, Practice has been always been available in one form or another and now can even be found in many versions on-line. The first section of the book consists of four dated conversations where Brother Lawrence describes what it is that led him to the realization that pursuing the Practice of the Presence of God was the best way, indeed the only way, to follow Christ. These are not conversations as most Americans today would categorize conversations, but more like Shakespearean soliloquies, with the little monk giving his thoughts on how he came to know that putting God first, last, and always, was the only way to live. That is Practice in a nutshell. I could stop writing here and you would have the book. Except that as simple as it is write or say such words, anyone who has really tried to live them knows, it is not that easy. In the next section of the book, we are given sixteen of Brother Lawrence's letters—mostly written to a nun, but also one to a priest and several to a lay woman. All of these further elucidate how one is to advance along the path toward our ultimate goal, full and total communion with God. The book concludes with a group of Brother Lawrence's maxims. What Brother Lawrence teaches through Practice is that no matter where we are, or what we are doing, we can and should be in God's presence at all times. But how to achieve this state, you may well ask? Although he answers this question in many different ways throughout the book, probably the most clear-cut answer lies here: “Having found different methods of going to God and different practices to attain the spiritual life in several books, I decided that they would serve more to hinder than to facilitate in me what I was seeking—which was nothing other than a means to be wholly God's. This made me decide to give all to gain all; so after having given all to God in satisfaction for my sins, I began to live as if there were no one in the world but Him and me.” (p73) On the surface, such an approach sounds very simplistic, or even selfish. However, the same day I read those words of Brother Lawrence, I read almost the exact same idea expressed by another Carmelite from 200 years earlier. In describing the transforming union that a soul undergoes when it finally achieves oneness with God, St. John of the Cross writes, “And here lies the remarkable delight of this awakening: the soul knows creatures through God and not God through creatures.” (p189, Fire Within, Thomas Dubay, S.M.) Indeed the life of Brother Lawrence is testimony to his writings; his single-minded concern for God, far from leading him away from love of people, brought him closer to them. Only through a greater love of God, can we ever hope for a fuller love of all of His creation. My first recorded acquaintance with Practice was May of 2004—at least according to the little bookmark card maintained inside the front cover of my ragged paperback copy. Recently I read and listened to the book again. I wish I could say that reading Practice was enough, or even writing about it. But they aren't. It takes much more than that. Nevertheless, I shall continue to do both, because I see great wisdom in this little book and at least reading it keeps the idea foremost in my mind. ‘I must know, love and serve God in this world that I may gain the happiness of heaven.’ (Baltimore Catechism) But even more than that, to be happy in this life, Brother Lawrence tells us is only possible with God as our one and only purpose, end and goal.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Lyon

    wonderful book. every christian should read this! this book will make you more hungry for the presence of God! This is the best edition of it available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Prese... wonderful book. every christian should read this! this book will make you more hungry for the presence of God! This is the best edition of it available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Prese...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Actually, this is more of an author review as I don't take issue with the content of the book, which is highly reccomended, but rather the inconsistent lifestyle of the author. Here it is: "Coram Deo": to live "before the face of God" best sums up the message of Brother Lawrence. That even the most mundane tasks can be taken up with glorying in the Lord Jesus. This is one of those places however where we ought to heed the words of Jesus concerning the Pharisees, "do what they say but not what they Actually, this is more of an author review as I don't take issue with the content of the book, which is highly reccomended, but rather the inconsistent lifestyle of the author. Here it is: "Coram Deo": to live "before the face of God" best sums up the message of Brother Lawrence. That even the most mundane tasks can be taken up with glorying in the Lord Jesus. This is one of those places however where we ought to heed the words of Jesus concerning the Pharisees, "do what they say but not what they do" which highlights the great oversight of brother Lawrence. What I expected from this book was an account of the faith of a hardworking Christian man in the midst of his daily labors, what I got was a man who was disappointed by how "satisfying" life in the monastery was and who expected future suffering (purgatory) to make up for his carefree life as a monk. This was a man who did not truly believe in the sufficiency of Christ's suffering on his behalf. Thinking he had to make up the difference somehow, such was the mindset of the monks. It's alot easier to be taken up with spiritual ecstasies when you have no real responsibilities in the world. As a Christian husband and father of one (and another on the way), I am moved by the practical principles for religious devotion to Christ that are laid out in this book, but I do wish that they were not hypocritically represented by a clergyman who divorced himself entirely from life amongst lay people. It sets a terrible precedent when Jesus said,"no one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light" (Luke 11:33). Brother Lawrence said he was convinced that in the kitchen he could "possess God in as great tranquility as if upon [his] knees at the blessed sacrament" and yet he remained a reclusive monk primarily and not instead a cook. He chose to flee the world under pretense of devoting his life to God and yet as a monk, in a very unChristlike fashion, he would not live and eat amongst sinners in order to reveal Christ to them. In practice he maintained the essentially Gnostic dichotomy between the material world as evil and the spiritual as good, rather than living out his ideal of serving God in everyday occupations like washing dishes and serving food, he chose the supposed higher path of the monk. If brother Lawrence wanted to convey his ideas with integrity he ought to have left the monastery and sought out honorable employment amongst the populus in order to be a missionary to them. By not doing this he has lead people by example into a hyper-spirituality that is so heavenly minded its no earthly good. There is no doubt that this man was devoted to loving God, but it is doubtful that he was much devoted to loving people the way Jesus did. Christ calls his disciples to be people who are ready to live godly lives in front of others as before the face of God. There are some great words to be found in this book concerning prayer and devotion, yet if you seek to truly walk as Jesus did please do not imitate the authors way of life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    One of the best books I ever read. I can hardly believe it was written by a virtually unknown kitchen monk from like a billion years ago. Seriously useful advice on exactly how to stay connected with God in constant communion. Not a bit sentimental. Nothing vain or extraneous. Nothing obtuse. Clear, solid advice. A real treasure. i'll never part with this book. I may just buy copies for everyone's Christmas this year. One of the best books I ever read. I can hardly believe it was written by a virtually unknown kitchen monk from like a billion years ago. Seriously useful advice on exactly how to stay connected with God in constant communion. Not a bit sentimental. Nothing vain or extraneous. Nothing obtuse. Clear, solid advice. A real treasure. i'll never part with this book. I may just buy copies for everyone's Christmas this year.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    I read this many years ago (I think), but just now listened to it on Audible. Enjoyed it -- he has a good functional grasp of grace, even though his theology of it was a little muddy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    The major barrier to this book is the slightly stilted language. I have recommended this to several people and they cannot get past this, essentially missing the book's message. If nothing else this makes me understand why the King James Bible remains obtuse for many. Brother Lawrence isn’t a famous man and he didn't do anything that should make us place him on a pedestal in the social-historical scheme of things. However, what this man brings to understanding God on a daily basis, in real-life w The major barrier to this book is the slightly stilted language. I have recommended this to several people and they cannot get past this, essentially missing the book's message. If nothing else this makes me understand why the King James Bible remains obtuse for many. Brother Lawrence isn’t a famous man and he didn't do anything that should make us place him on a pedestal in the social-historical scheme of things. However, what this man brings to understanding God on a daily basis, in real-life which each of us can understand, is nothing short of miraculous. Brother Lawrence involves God in all his daily affairs, not in some odd or curious way, but in a very natural way: he treats the Lord as one sitting with him in the kitchen where he works. This little book is one which can be, I have found, life changing. As my friend from Tennessee often says, reading it is like being “hit upside the head with a tire iron!” I think this phrase is incredibly apt because Brother Lawrence’s solution to losing track of God in our daily life is simply to invoke him in all parts of one’s daily life. In essence, this little tract is the epitome of simplicity which we often bypass by our bombast and rhetoric about situations. Those wishing to come back to God in a very personal way without making all sorts of noise and commotion would do well to read this book. I find that I must come back to it every so often because it is so easy to veer away from the simplicity it uses so effectively.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bob O'bannon

    In a world of constant distraction, Brother Lawrence has much to teach us about offering every moment of our waking existence to a deliberate awareness of God's gracious and intimate presence, whether we're writing a sermon or working in the kitchen. One must discipline himself to be mindful of God's constant and immediate accessibility. The result is a life of peace and joy, even in the face of a painful death. At the same time, I found myself troubled by at least three things: 1) On several occ In a world of constant distraction, Brother Lawrence has much to teach us about offering every moment of our waking existence to a deliberate awareness of God's gracious and intimate presence, whether we're writing a sermon or working in the kitchen. One must discipline himself to be mindful of God's constant and immediate accessibility. The result is a life of peace and joy, even in the face of a painful death. At the same time, I found myself troubled by at least three things: 1) On several occasions, Lawrence mentions the need to make satisfaction for his sins. Maybe he means something different than I realize, but if he means what I think he means, I have to wonder if the man even understands the gospel. 2) I don't think Lawrence refers to Scripture even one time in this whole book. 3) Lawrence seems to value a kind of mystical detachment from the present world, as if there is something super spiritual about ignoring the world around us. Lots of good meat in this book, but don't be afraid to spit out the bones just because it is regarded as such a classic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ebookwormy1

    Many have heard of Brother Lawrence's quote about peeling potatoes to the glory of God. This book is a collection of his letters dealing with the topic of practicing God's presence. This is a short but profoundly meditative read. Good stuff for mothers in a hurry who want to ponder a connection with God in the midst of busy days; also palatable for people going through a hard time to read little bits at a time and absorb them without charging through. Brother Lawrence didn't intend to write a boo Many have heard of Brother Lawrence's quote about peeling potatoes to the glory of God. This book is a collection of his letters dealing with the topic of practicing God's presence. This is a short but profoundly meditative read. Good stuff for mothers in a hurry who want to ponder a connection with God in the midst of busy days; also palatable for people going through a hard time to read little bits at a time and absorb them without charging through. Brother Lawrence didn't intend to write a book, and some concepts are a bit disjointed. But, he is consistent enough in his perspective and approach that the same themes work throughout his pastoral correspondence. I found his ideas to be challenging. Too often, I can emphasize service to God over relationship with God. Brother Lawrence's goal to focus on developing a conscious awareness of God's presence, to live and interact with His presence such that his relationship with God was the strongest experience of his life is a worthy goal. Since I first read it, I feel I've made progress, but it does tend to drop off the radar as life goes on and a good refresher is always welcome. As a result, I've read it a few times and anticipate reading it several more times before I meet him in heaven! --- Update: For those seeking more practical direction on HOW to implement these principles in the Christian life, I also recommend "We Would See Jesus" by Roy & Revel Hession, published 1958. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caterina

    Healing Trauma, Living in (The) Presence This would be a five star book for the right person at the right time, I was just not that person or perhaps it was not the right time. Or was it? I bought the scholarly Critical Edition, replete with supplemental materials (definitely the five-star edition of this book) and committed to reading a bit each day with the encouragement of my GR friend “Booklady,” a secular Carmelite. Surprisingly, Brother Lawrence’s actual text is only about four pages long, Healing Trauma, Living in (The) Presence This would be a five star book for the right person at the right time, I was just not that person or perhaps it was not the right time. Or was it? I bought the scholarly Critical Edition, replete with supplemental materials (definitely the five-star edition of this book) and committed to reading a bit each day with the encouragement of my GR friend “Booklady,” a secular Carmelite. Surprisingly, Brother Lawrence’s actual text is only about four pages long, the rest, as they say, is commentary--including Brother Lawrence's own commentary and letters. The brother's practice was, on the surface, seemingly simple: to repeat a short prayer continuously throughout the work day to unite himself at all times with the presence of God. Humorously, the book’s introduction warned that Americans in particular tend to find this very difficult and also tend to turn it into something to achieve, at which they then fail. Well. I did not even try to achieve it. But although I wasn’t particularly attracted to this form of prayer, the book and my daily reading did get me moving spiritually in other ways, ultimately reconnecting instead with Ignatian spiritual practices I feel more attuned with — and I found myself in awe of Brother Lawrence’s own deeply moving story. The young, uneducated soldier who became known as Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection entered a French Carmelite monastery fresh from battle and pretty much destroyed by war trauma, experiencing what today we would call severe PTSD. I imagine he enters the community hoping to find peace—but instead, his life is a nightmare because of extreme terrors that continue day and night for four years before beginning to abate. In an era when psychological medicine did not exist, he is healed, slowly but completely, through the continual, maybe even continuous, practice of a simple, repetitive, spoken prayer throughout the work day by which he intends to give himself completely over to God. Eventually, as an old, still rough-spoken man, he becomes known as a spiritual master--I am not sure whether the term "spiritual master" was in use at the time, but he becomes someone others recognize for the peace in his soul and seek out for wisdom and guidance. All the while, he is subject to work that would have been brutally difficult -- imagine preparing meals for a huge community of (probably grouchy) men at a time when stoves and ovens were wood-fired and there was no air conditioning or even electric fans, and all the cookware was heavy cast iron or copper -- he worked in the inferno on earth. When his body could no longer handle that work, he “retired” to the shoe repair shop. In light of the fact that my friends who have read this have all given it five-star ratings, I feel a bit ungenerous, but I hope my brief review has made up a bit for my just “Good” rating. Thank you, Booklady, for your recommendation that I go ahead and post a review, and for your own inspiring and much more thorough review and analysis: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Kyriosity

    “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” This little book seems to me very much in the spirit of this verse from Isaiah. Return to His presence. Rest in His presence. Be quiet in His presence. Grow confident in His presence. Find salvation and strength in His presence. The Romish errors here are easily enough ignored, so I think I will be revisiting it regularly as a reminder to "set the Lord always before me." Kirsten Ferreri's narration was “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” This little book seems to me very much in the spirit of this verse from Isaiah. Return to His presence. Rest in His presence. Be quiet in His presence. Grow confident in His presence. Find salvation and strength in His presence. The Romish errors here are easily enough ignored, so I think I will be revisiting it regularly as a reminder to "set the Lord always before me." Kirsten Ferreri's narration was fine for a LibriVox recording.

  13. 4 out of 5

    J. Wootton

    A classic of practical Christianity. Brother Lawrence's core insight is that if God is everywhere, we are always in his presence; so our difficulty is not so much in being "nearer" or "farther" at various points in life, but in being more and less aware of the divine presence due to busyness and other immediate distractions. Despite working as a cook, which kept him continuously busy, Brother Lawrence cultivated habits of mindfulness that he found practical to that end. Through a series of lette A classic of practical Christianity. Brother Lawrence's core insight is that if God is everywhere, we are always in his presence; so our difficulty is not so much in being "nearer" or "farther" at various points in life, but in being more and less aware of the divine presence due to busyness and other immediate distractions. Despite working as a cook, which kept him continuously busy, Brother Lawrence cultivated habits of mindfulness that he found practical to that end. Through a series of letters (possibly dictated) and conversations recorded by others, The Practice of the Presence of God and Spiritual Maxims preserves his insights and advice. Though shedding some light on the history of the barefoot Carmelite monks of late 1600s Paris, this book would mainly be enjoyable and useful to practicing Christians.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where I got the book: purchased on the Nook (yes, it does happen). I'm not really sure what to say about this little book. I guess I was expecting some great revelation about how to be a better Christian but the basic message here is "practice the presence of God every day." Hmmm. That's a bit like opening a book and finding written inside, "This is a book. Read it." Don't get me wrong, Brother Lawrence sounds like a great guy. In fact the book is part memoir, part biography, part letters and so Where I got the book: purchased on the Nook (yes, it does happen). I'm not really sure what to say about this little book. I guess I was expecting some great revelation about how to be a better Christian but the basic message here is "practice the presence of God every day." Hmmm. That's a bit like opening a book and finding written inside, "This is a book. Read it." Don't get me wrong, Brother Lawrence sounds like a great guy. In fact the book is part memoir, part biography, part letters and so on. It's a collection of documents by and about Brother Lawrence who, from the sound of it, was a genuinely humble, dedicated follower of Christ. I think this book may inspire some people; it just didn't inspire me, and probably that's indicative of my own spiritual status (low on the scale). I know I SHOULD practice the presence of God; I'm not sure HOW, and maybe it's one of those things like riding a bike; you try until you get it, and once you get it you don't know how you were ever not able to do it. Maybe I should revisit this one in ten years' time. Will there still be a Nook, I wonder?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    While there is certainly a truism presented in this book, and though I appreciated much in it, I believe it is faulty in that it encourages a mystical view of God and the practice of contemplative prayer. Brother Lawrence is listed here as an author than endorses contemplative prayer in this article entitled, "The Top 50 Christian Contemplative Books– A “NOT RECOMMENDED Reading List”" http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.c... For more info on contemplative prayer, visit: http://apprising.org/2009/1 While there is certainly a truism presented in this book, and though I appreciated much in it, I believe it is faulty in that it encourages a mystical view of God and the practice of contemplative prayer. Brother Lawrence is listed here as an author than endorses contemplative prayer in this article entitled, "The Top 50 Christian Contemplative Books– A “NOT RECOMMENDED Reading List”" http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.c... For more info on contemplative prayer, visit: http://apprising.org/2009/11/05/donal...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    If I would have stopped reading about 3/4 of the way through, I probably would have given this book three stars instead of two. I was disappointed to learn that really only about half of this book was written by Brother Lawrence. The first section contains a series of "conversations" recorded by someone who had spoken with Brother Lawrence and the last section was a short biography of his life. I found this biography to be so inundated with bad theology and an almost worshipful view of Brother L If I would have stopped reading about 3/4 of the way through, I probably would have given this book three stars instead of two. I was disappointed to learn that really only about half of this book was written by Brother Lawrence. The first section contains a series of "conversations" recorded by someone who had spoken with Brother Lawrence and the last section was a short biography of his life. I found this biography to be so inundated with bad theology and an almost worshipful view of Brother Lawrence that it left a severe distaste of the entire book. The portions of the book which were written by Brother Lawrence were divided into letters that he had written to various people, and "maxims" and short sayings or explanations of what he believed and/or his way of life. The nature of this lent itself to being quite repetitive and disjointed. I guess I expected the book to be entirely written by this man and involving a larger scope and explanation of his life and beliefs. I was looking forward to reading this as I have heard about it for several years but I don't feel like it really added anything to my understanding of God or my convictions about daily living. The basic premise, that being in the presence of God is a practice that one can achieve through discipline and foucs, was repeated often. However, I didn't find his methods overly profound or his committment to them overly impressive considering the fact that he was secluded from the world. To say that he followed in Christ's footsteps seems to really miss the point as Christ was ever fellowshipping, teaching and evangelizing out in the world. Brother Lawrence makes an example of the chore of doing dishes and serving in the kitchen to bolster his proposition that any activity can be completed inside the presence of God but I found that to be pretty hollow. I don't disagree that doing dishes (or any seemingly mundane task)can be done as an act of service and love but I thought it was weak to use that as an example of a trying or difficult circumstance which would really challenge our ability to be God-centered. I don't know; maybe he really hated doing dishes. However if that's the most difficult situation he faced in his life in the monastery, it makes me wonder how credible his teaching really is. I agreed with Brother Lawrence that a right, awe-filled view of God brings us a long way in seeking and remaining in His presence and that it is a discpline to pursue God's presence. I'm not sure I really see the merit in "achieving" a consistent position in the presence of God if it's not used to bring others to Him. Apparently Brother Lawrence had great influence with other "brothers" living around him and we know that he wrote to encourage others so I guess you could say that his life and writings have inspired others to connect with God. However, he seemed to be more interested in a life of pleasant seclusion than in fulfilling the Great Commission. From the evidence of this book alone, this position is merely conjecture, but I really didn't see any inclination to "put to good use" the profound connection he seemed to have achieved in his decades of "the practice of the presence of God." This book is readable in one sitting. My overall view is that you'd probably be just as well off using the time it takes to read this book to meditate on the Scriptures instead. I didn't feel that it offered much insight. I would highly recommend "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life" by William Law to anyone looking for meatier inspiration and instruction about a life lived fully for God. I think, possibly, reading Law's book just a couple months ago wrecked anything I could have gotten out of "The Practice of the Presence of God." I'd be curious to know what (if anything) I would have gotten out of Brother Lawrence's maxims had I read it 10 years ago. I think there is some good to be gotten out his writings but they just didn't do much for me. I feel like I should be apologizing for this overly negative review considering the other reviews...but the combination of faulty theology (much of it brought in by the other contributing writers), a lifestyle of seclusion and mediocre insight just left me disappointed and irritated. The two star "It was OK" rating it pretty true to my experience with this book. I'd love to have a discussion with someone for whom this book was much more significant.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    This is a collection of letters from Brother Lawrence primarily about how he obtained closeness to God through the “practice of the presence of God.” It begins with a narrative introduction about Brother Lawrence, incorporating some information from “interviews” (more like conversations) with him. There were some real gems in here that struck me, and I admire Brother Lawrence’s high spirituality, but I also found it difficult to relate to in some ways. “It is, however, proper to deprive [the bod This is a collection of letters from Brother Lawrence primarily about how he obtained closeness to God through the “practice of the presence of God.” It begins with a narrative introduction about Brother Lawrence, incorporating some information from “interviews” (more like conversations) with him. There were some real gems in here that struck me, and I admire Brother Lawrence’s high spirituality, but I also found it difficult to relate to in some ways. “It is, however, proper to deprive [the body] sometimes, nay often, of many little pleasures which are innocent and lawful. God will not permit a soul that desires to be devoted entirely to Him to take pleasures other than with Him.” This one puzzles me – how can God not delight in his creatures taking lawful and innocent pleasures, and how can any such pleasure be apart from Him? The idea that everything in life must be deliberately spiritualized and that if it is not deliberately spiritualized it is harmful to the spiritual life is not an idea I have been able to embrace. There were also times when his theology seemed a bit heavy on the idea that God sends all inflictions and suffering and sickness to purge/cure our soul. While I think he can use those sufferings for good, I don’t know that they are usually deliberately sent to us for the purpose of soul refinement. I will have to mull this little volume over further, perhaps in a moment of greater receptivity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    A Catholic man who loved Jesus with all his heart. Even Protestants covet this book in our time. Since I'm a Calvinist, I'm one of them. This devotee finds God in mundane tasks, like washing dishes. Read in 1999. A Catholic man who loved Jesus with all his heart. Even Protestants covet this book in our time. Since I'm a Calvinist, I'm one of them. This devotee finds God in mundane tasks, like washing dishes. Read in 1999.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rick Davis

    The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection is, to borrow a phrase, a book for transformation and not merely information. In fact, as far as information goes, this book has only one main idea. Namely, we should live our lives every moment with the realization that God is present with us, and we should lift up our hearts to Him frequently in a spirit of prayer. It’s a painfully obvious principle going back to St. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection is, to borrow a phrase, a book for transformation and not merely information. In fact, as far as information goes, this book has only one main idea. Namely, we should live our lives every moment with the realization that God is present with us, and we should lift up our hearts to Him frequently in a spirit of prayer. It’s a painfully obvious principle going back to St. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” However, how many of us actually fulfill this biblical mandate? Sadly, very few of us can avoid distractions long enough to have any sort of unbroken time of communion with God. Brother Lawrence was a monk, but he was not the type of monk who spent all day in the chapel praying. He worked in the kitchen, bought the groceries from the market, and traveled on behalf of the monastery. In all ways, he had a very mundane and, dare I say, “worldly” job. However, the beauty of his book is to show that no vocation makes it impossible to have a strong life of prayer. My own prayer life suffers greatly from distractions and self-imposed haste, and I have struggled often to get back on track and spend quality time in prayer. As such, some of Brother Lawrence’s sayings are welcome breaths of fresh air. “…Many souls get stuck among systems and particular devotions,” he writes, “and neglect that love which is their real end.” Systems may be helpful or they may simply obscure the real purpose for prayer. There is not a one-size-fits-all method for maintaining a healthy prayer life. Also, prayer should be normal, and not some separate experience from the rest of life. Lawrence writes that it is “a great delusion to imaging that prayer-time should be different from any other, for we are equally bound to be united to God by work at work-time as by prayer at prayer-time.” Finally, and this strikes at the heart of man’s pride and perhaps at the heart of why I and so many others in our modern world struggle with prayer, prayer is not a matter of becoming smarter or stronger. “Neither skill nor knowledge is required to enable us to go to God…” Rather, this sort of continual prayer can only come by a deep sense of our helplessness and weakness before God. We can’t work our way there, and we can’t think our way there. “The greater the perfection to which a soul aspires, the more dependent is she upon divine grace, and this grace becomes more necessary every moment because without it the soul can do nothing. The world, the flesh, and the Devil together wage so fierce and unremitting a war that, without actual grace and a humble reliance thereon, the soul would be dragged down in spite of herself.” It is this last emphasis, the reliance on God’s grace for all of this, which makes this book so wonderful to me. Brother Lawrence gives pointers in the right direction and practical hints for helping along the way, but there is no simple 5 step plan. He frankly admits that what he is speaking of is impossible, but he doesn’t leave us there. He points us to faith in Christ as the means to attaining the goal of ceaseless prayer. “All these acts of worship must be the fruit of faith. We must believe that God is indeed within our hearts, and that we must worship, love and serve Him in spirit and in truth…” This emphasis makes up for any shortcomings in Lawrence’s specific theology, and makes this a book by which every Christian, new or old, may grow and benefit.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike E.

    I read elsewhere this book is available as a free Kindle download. This review is based on a free version downloaded from Google Books: 1906, London: H.R. Allenson, Ltd. Quotes: That we ought to give ourselves up entirely to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation; for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. (10) That we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicit I read elsewhere this book is available as a free Kindle download. This review is based on a free version downloaded from Google Books: 1906, London: H.R. Allenson, Ltd. Quotes: That we ought to give ourselves up entirely to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation; for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. (10) That we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. (13) That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times: that we were as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action as by prayer in its season. (21) One way to recall easily the mind and time of prayer, and to preserve it more in rest, is not to let it wander too far at other times. (47) Love sweetens pain: and when one loves God, one suffers for Him with joy and courage. (57) If we knew how much He loves us, we should be always ready to receive equally, and with indifference, from His hand, the sweet and the bitter; all would please that came from him. (59) Study Guide: 1. What does it mean to have a "soul equally resigned?" (10) When has your satisfaction been in Christ alone? When is it difficult for you to be satisfied in/with Jesus? 2. What should be the end of all of the believer's actions? (11). Should it be the glory of God? 3. To what degree was Brother Lawrence (BL) confident in the strength of his own will or resolve? (13) 4. What is BL's methodology concerning prayer? (13) How does it compare to your own practice? 5. Why was BL not burdened by his own faults or sins? (14-15) 6. Read I Thessalonians 5:16-18. How does this Scripture correlate with the first half of this book? 7. Why does one see so little solid virtue in Christians? (19) 8. What is an important aspect in overcoming spiritual doubts? (21) 9. Do you agree that, in the spiritual life, not to advance is to go back? (2nd letter, p. 32). Why? 10. BL writes that to practice the presence of God, the heart must be empty of all else--Christ alone shall dwell there. Read 1 Cor 7:32-35. Do you think that Brother Lawrence had an advantage or disadvantage by living in a monastic community? Do you and I have an advantage or disadvantage, in practicing the presence of God as husbands, fathers, grandfathers? 11. Does BL advocate daily devotions take place every morning by 6AM? Does BL advocate a certain amount of time in prayer & the Word daily? If so, what are they? If not, why not>?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Art

    Brother Lawrence is a 17th century Carmelite monk who engaged in a near continual conversation with God. Even while he was doing seemingly menial tasks of while he was sick, he had a constant consciousness of the presence of God. This book is a collection of conversations with him and letters from him that describe and prescribe his daily inner and external dialogue with God. I learned from brother Lawrence a couple of ways to sustain the dialogue. One thing I learned was that he described his c Brother Lawrence is a 17th century Carmelite monk who engaged in a near continual conversation with God. Even while he was doing seemingly menial tasks of while he was sick, he had a constant consciousness of the presence of God. This book is a collection of conversations with him and letters from him that describe and prescribe his daily inner and external dialogue with God. I learned from brother Lawrence a couple of ways to sustain the dialogue. One thing I learned was that he described his conversations with God as extremely pleasurable. He kept at the conversation because he enjoyed being with God. There's joy in being with God. Another way he kept the conversation going was that he wasn't too self deprecating when he noticed that he hadn't been conversing with God. He apologized, and he got right back to it. One conversation I had to have with brother Lawrence (with his writings I mean, sometimes I talk out loud right back to the literature I'm reading as if I'm talking to the author; in my imagination I process what is being said better by doing this), was about how he saw illnesses and sufferings. To brother Lawrence these were also little gifts from God sent to bring awareness to the sufferer's need for God and to bring awareness to God's sustenance during suffering. So brother Lawrence welcomed suffering (without seeking it out) as gifts from God. That's a stretch for me to understand them that way. I expect suffering in this ever changing, sometimes evil world, and I prefer to see sufferings instead as being there, but they are not hindrances to God's stronger love, which has defeated all suffering, and that God's presence is there for consolation during suffering. So I agree with him that being with God can make paradise available even for the sufferer, not because the suffering is a gift, but because God's presence is the ever promised gift even despite suffering. As he says: "Pain and suffering would be a paradise to me if I could suffer with my God. The greatest pleasures would be hell if I relished them without Him."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Good stuff. Free Kindle download. Read it through in one sitting. "You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we are aware of." "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us." "It i Good stuff. Free Kindle download. Read it through in one sitting. "You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we are aware of." "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us." "It is not necessary for being with God to be always at church. We may make an oratory of our heart wherein to retire from time to time to converse with Him in meekness, humility, and love. Every one is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less. He knows what we can do." “How happy we would be if we could find the treasure of which the Gospel speaks; all else would be as nothing. As it is boundless, the more you search for it the greater the riches you will find; let us search unceasingly and let us not stop until we have found it.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Weber

    To be honest, the only reason I read this book is because it was included in the same volume as the afore-mentioned book on prayer by Andrew Murray. However, I found it to be a perfect continuation of the primary thing God has really been impressing upon my heart this year – the importance of walking in the Spirit and performing even the most mundane duties to His glory. I loved this thought that Brother Lawrence shares, “That in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and refe To be honest, the only reason I read this book is because it was included in the same volume as the afore-mentioned book on prayer by Andrew Murray. However, I found it to be a perfect continuation of the primary thing God has really been impressing upon my heart this year – the importance of walking in the Spirit and performing even the most mundane duties to His glory. I loved this thought that Brother Lawrence shares, “That in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must first apply to Him with some diligence; but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.” Oh, and I just have to share one more, “That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Will Thomas

    A magnificent and challenging book from an uneducated man who humbly set out to serve God, and spent his life in joy. His great disappointment was that he never got to suffer as he thought he deserved! Brother Lawrence saw his day-to-day work as service and praise to God. He set himself a discipline of awareness of the Divine Presence, until it became his habit and his life. For decades he toiled in the kitchen of the monastery, not ordained, but a lay brother, given that job because they found h A magnificent and challenging book from an uneducated man who humbly set out to serve God, and spent his life in joy. His great disappointment was that he never got to suffer as he thought he deserved! Brother Lawrence saw his day-to-day work as service and praise to God. He set himself a discipline of awareness of the Divine Presence, until it became his habit and his life. For decades he toiled in the kitchen of the monastery, not ordained, but a lay brother, given that job because they found him too clumsy to do anything else! After decades of such service, in his seventies and until his death in his eighties, suddenly he was sought out for what had become his obvious piety. I challenge you to read and re-read and re-re-read this short little book (You can dash through it in less than a half hour probably) until it changes your life!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kazango

    I first read this book 26 years ago, and now I must atone for a grave injustice I did it at that time. I was asked to read it by an acquaintance, and I agreed with distaste: can any good come out of a book written by a Catholic monk? I asked my Presbyterian self. Accordingly my opinion when finished was that it was a book of no value. How wrong I was! Now as a Catholic I am at least honest enough to see that the book is marvelous in proposing to us that we should seek always to be mindful of our I first read this book 26 years ago, and now I must atone for a grave injustice I did it at that time. I was asked to read it by an acquaintance, and I agreed with distaste: can any good come out of a book written by a Catholic monk? I asked my Presbyterian self. Accordingly my opinion when finished was that it was a book of no value. How wrong I was! Now as a Catholic I am at least honest enough to see that the book is marvelous in proposing to us that we should seek always to be mindful of our Lord, as best we can. What possible harm is there in such a purpose? Why should I have rejected the book as a younger man? Only because I was stubborn and arrogant and refused to believe the possibility that truth could be found flowing from the pen of a monk. Forgive me, Brother Lawrence! Forgive me Lord! May I be even half so faithful as Lawrence was, and I would call myself happy in God.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I absolutely loved this book! I was given it to borrow from a friend and when I saw the size of it I figured I'd have it done in an afternoon. My friend cautioned me to take my time, and I did, reading every page with mindfulness, catching bits of truths and insights not only on every page but within every sentence. This is the type of book that can be transforming depending upon the receptiveness of the reader. It is possible to experience God in the present moment, throughout one's day, living I absolutely loved this book! I was given it to borrow from a friend and when I saw the size of it I figured I'd have it done in an afternoon. My friend cautioned me to take my time, and I did, reading every page with mindfulness, catching bits of truths and insights not only on every page but within every sentence. This is the type of book that can be transforming depending upon the receptiveness of the reader. It is possible to experience God in the present moment, throughout one's day, living in the joy of His reality and the peace of His promises and this book certainly gives insight on how to go about beginning to experience God in a more intimate and very real way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    A simple reminder that God is not only the means of our spiritual life and salvation, but the end as well. Brother Lawrence believed that we must practice God's presence, knowing that He is always much nearer than we think (living in the chapel of our heart), and love Him more than the blessings He gives and the comfort He provides. A simple reminder that God is not only the means of our spiritual life and salvation, but the end as well. Brother Lawrence believed that we must practice God's presence, knowing that He is always much nearer than we think (living in the chapel of our heart), and love Him more than the blessings He gives and the comfort He provides.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Simple, powerful. If one used this philosophic, spiritual path Love would be in mind consistently, constantly. Alas, the distractions of the illusory world just keep showing up and off I go again. But still, his Wisdom remains true and also in my holy mind. A very important read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ben Larson

    Such a great book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    It keeps coming into my mind - how much man would be capable of if his soul were strong in the love of God, if he wanted God as much as he wanted to penetrate the power and glory of God's creation. ~ Dorthy Day, Reflections on the presence of God, p.20 [His:] disposition brought him to so great an unconcern about everything and to so complete a detachment, that it was near to the freedom of the Blessed... Nothing could hold him to earth; his vision was not bounded by time from long contemplation It keeps coming into my mind - how much man would be capable of if his soul were strong in the love of God, if he wanted God as much as he wanted to penetrate the power and glory of God's creation. ~ Dorthy Day, Reflections on the presence of God, p.20 [His:] disposition brought him to so great an unconcern about everything and to so complete a detachment, that it was near to the freedom of the Blessed... Nothing could hold him to earth; his vision was not bounded by time from long contemplation of Him who is eternal, his spirit had become as if it were timeless. ~ Abbi de Beaufort, vicor general of Cardinal de Noailles speaking of Br. Lawrence, p.23 That we ought...find our happiness in doing His will, whether He lead us by the way of suffering or by the way of delight, for they are all the same to one truly resigned to Him. p31 God rewarded whatever he had done for Him so quickly and so liberally that he had sometimes wished he could hide his deeds from Him so that, receiving no reward, he would have the priveledge of doing something entirely for God. p.34 "...but God none the less continued [His favours:], sometimes taking him as it were by the hand, and leading him before the whole court of Heaven, that all might see the wretch He was pleased to honour. p.35 p.35 is really good! [Br. Lawrence had said:] that at first his prayers had consisted entirely in rejecting distractions and falling into them again. p.39 That he gave thought neither to death nor to his sins, neither to Heaven nor to Hell, but only to the doing of small things for the love of God - small things because he was incapable of big ones. He needed trouble no further, for whatever came after would be according to God's will. p.40 p.41 => GOOD! It was a great delusion to imaging that prayer time should be different from any other, for we are equally bound to be united to God by work at worktime as by prayer at prayertime. p.49 All things are possible to him who believes, less difficult to him who hopes, still less difficult to him who loves, and easiest of all to him who persevers in all three virtues. p.50 The end we ought to propose to ourselves in this life is to become as good worshipers of God as we possibly can, as we hope to be His perfect worshipers for all eternity. p.50 [Br. Lawrence:] was more united with God during his ordinary activities than in religious exercise, in which he was generally afflicted with spiritual dryness. p.45 The greater the perfection to which a soul aspires, the more dependent it is upon divine grace. p.51 Br. Lawrence speaking of another friar: He often complains of our blindness, exclaiming at our piteousness in that we are satisfied with so little. God, he says, has infinite treasure to bestow, and we are satisfied by a passing moment of devout feeling; we are blind, and our blindness stays the hand of God when He would pour out abundance of grace. But when He finds a soul imbued with a living faith He floods it with grace which, like a stream dammed up and finding a new outlet, spreads abundant waters fare and wide. pp.56-57 We must go on working, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those on whom the Holy Spirit has breathed go forward even when they sleep. If the vessel of our soul be still battered by winds and storms, let us wake the Lord who sleeps therein, and he will quickly calm the waves. pp.57-58 If we knew the need we have of God's grace and aid, we should not lose sight of Him even for a second. p.61 ...it is well from time to time, and even often, to deny ourselves harmless and permissible relaxations. For when a sould wants to be devoted entirely to Him, God will not suffer it to have any other delights. That is only what we should reasonably expect. p.64 pp.64-66 => GOOD God does not ask much of us: a thought of Him from time to time, or an act of worship; sometimes to pray for His grace, sometimes to offer up your sufferings, sometimes to thank Him for His goodness to you, past and present; and to comfort yourself with thoughts of Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him sometimes when you are at meals or in society; the least little rememberance will always be pleasing to Him. There is no need to cry very loudly, for He is nearer to us than we think. p.68 Let us live and die with God; sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to us while we are with Him, and the greatest pleasures a cruel affliction without Him. p.69 I want not to pick up a straw from the ground except in accordance with God's order and for sheer love of Him... I have given up all devotions and pieties which are not of obligation, and instead try to keep myself always in God's holy presence by simple attentiveness and a loving gaze upon Him. p.73 Passage from pp.75-76 is quite good. We should indeed be happy could we but find the treasure of which the Gospel speaks; everything else would appear worthless. Seeing that it is boundless, the more we seek, the more shall we find, so let us give ourselves up to the search without wearying, until we are successful. p.79

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