Greetings! The paragraphs below are a few excerpts from the well known and popularly read “Practicing The Presence Of God” which characterizes Brother Lawrence, a “mystic” who lived from 1610-1691 as a monk in Paris. He was accustomed to practicing this “method” of CONTINUALLY having God and Christ Jesus before him for over 40 years.
A free copy is available online at http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5657/pg5657.html. It can be purchased in paperback at Amazon.com for $5.29 and the Kindle edition is only $0.99.
It is one of the most helpful and inspiring books I have ever read. Here are the selected passages:
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Only those can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
“Brother Lawrence said that in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence. Then, after a little care, we would find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.”
“Since he resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. He was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.”
“Brother Lawrence related that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him. It was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.”
“When an occasion of practicing some virtue was offered, he addressed himself to God saying, “Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me”. And then he received strength more than sufficient. When he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault saying to God, “I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself. It is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.””
“He said that useless thoughts spoil all – that the mischief began there. We ought to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertinence and return to our communion with God.”
“Brother Lawrence said 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. God never failed to grant it, as Brother Lawrence had often experienced.”
“He found that the shortest way to go straight to God was by a continual exercise of love and doing all things for His sake.”
All the best in Him.