THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD
A monk in the 16th century was granted a “singular favour” from God. In noting how a tree sheds and regrows its leaves one August, Brother Lawrence was forever changed. He was granted understanding that:
♦ We could establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence through continual conversation with God.
♦ We yield great joy in feeding our souls with high notions of GOD.
♦ We ought to give ourselves fully to GOD, and seek full satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or comfort, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned.
♦ “Our only business was to love and delight ourselves in GOD.”
♦ The “most excellent method” is going about our business without “any view of pleasing men, & (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of GOD.” 4th Con.
Brother Lawrence resolved to make the “Love of God” the purpose of all his actions. He found such satisfaction in this practice that he felt the same intensity of the presence of God when he was working in the kitchen as he did at daily prayers. He purposed all actions for the love, praise and joy of God.
♦ “I did not engage in a religious life but for the love of GOD, and I have endeavored to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of GOD. 2nd conversation
♦ “His prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, and he should grow stronger.” 4th Conversation
♦ When he began his business, he said to GOD, with a filial trust in Him, “O my GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.”
♦ And it was observed, that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. “The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess GOD in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.” 4th
His mind wandered away from God, but he would just recall his focus…“This made me resolve to give the all for the All: so after having given myself wholly to GOD, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He; and I beheld Him in my heart as my FATHER, as my GOD: I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. First Letter
Read Free Text online @ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/lawrence/practice
Listen to Free Audio @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQS9mbXJ5UU