Friday, January 31, 2014

Meeting God in Ordinary Time: The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence

A classic of spiritual formation, appreciated by Protestants and Catholics alike, Brother Lawrence’s little volume on practicing God’s presence all day long is a gem. Recently I went through it again and wrote down some quotes.

Heart and Mind Fully Focused on God
“I still believe that all spiritual life consists of practicing God’s presence, and that anyone who practices it correctly will soon attain spiritual fulfillment. To accomplish this, it is necessary for the heart to be emptied of everything that would offend God. He wants to possess your heart completely. Before any work can be done in your soul, God must be totally in control. There is no sweeter manner of living in the world than continuous communion with God.” (p 29)

“I honestly cannot understand how people who claim to love the Lord can be content without practicing His presence. My preference is to retire with Him to the deepest part of my soul as often as possible. When I am with Him there, nothing frightens me.” (p 31)

Punctuating the Day with Glances toward God
“In the beginning of this practice, it would not be wrong to offer short phrases that are inspired by love, such as “Lord, I am all Yours,” or “Lord, use me according to your will.” (p 70)

“During your meals or during any daily duty, lift your heart up to Him, because even the least little remembrance will please Him. You don’t have to pray out loud; He’s nearer than you can imagine.” (p 33)

God Gently Calls Us Back When We Are Distracted
“My day-to-day life consists of giving God my simple, loving attention. If I’m distracted, He calls me back in tones that are supernaturally beautiful. If you think of me, remember the grace with which God has blessed me, rather than my typically human ineptitude. My prayers consist of a simple continuation of this same exercise. Some-times I imagine that I’m a piece of stone, waiting for the sculptor. When I give myself to God in this way, He begins sculpting my soul into the perfect image of His beloved Son. At other times, I feel my whole mind and heart being raised up into God’s presence, as if, without effort, they had always belonged there.” (p 38)

What a wonderful reminder this is to commune with God all day!

© 2013 Glenn E. Myers

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