Posts Tagged ‘Brother Lawrence’

The Sweet and the Bitter

April 11, 2013

plant-growing-out-of-crack-in-sidewalk


In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, wrote of the peace that comes from viewing everything in life as a gift from God.





God knoweth best what is needful for us, and all that He does is for our good. If we knew how much He loves us, we should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter. All would please that came from Him.


Indeed, all it takes is a shift of (more…)

Why Must God Be Neglected?

April 10, 2013

man-on-dock-watching-water-sky-trees



In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, explained how simple it was to practice the presence of God.





Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often on God, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you; why, then, must God be neglected? Do not, then, forget Him, but (more…)

Our Souls Are at Stake

April 9, 2013

vibrant-colors-yellow-road-illustration

In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, explained how he was able to walk continually in God’s presence.

He compared God to an ever-flowing, ever-conscious, ever-blissful river and emphasized that it was only our lack of receptivity that prevented us from bathing in God’s loving presence in every moment. He wrote:



God has infinite treasure to bestow, and we take up with a little sensible devotion, which passes in a moment. Blind as we are, we hinder God and stop the current of His graces. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours (more…)

The Tree of Life

April 8, 2013

barren-tree-winterIn the depth of winter, Nicholas Herman, an eighteen-year-old impoverished solider in the French army, stopped to gaze upon a tree. The thoughts that occurred to him in those few moments changed the course of his life and would serve to inspire countless souls in the centuries to come.

Like the tree, stripped of its leaves, Herman felt barren and hopeless. But come spring, he realized, the tree would once again blossom with leaves and fruit. In that instant, the leafless tree “first flashed in upon [his] soul the fact of God” and his soul blossomed with the hope and expectation that the turn of seasons in his own life would bring fullness, and that he too would be renewed through the mercy of God’s grace.

Not long after, a near-fatal injury to his sciatic nerve, which left him crippled and in chronic pain the rest of his life, forced Herman’s retirement from the army. After a stint as a self-described “footman who was clumsy and broke everything,” he entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris around the year 1635 and took the name (more…)

All Things Are Possible

April 7, 2013

mother-child-holding-hands
In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the priest who interviewed Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, recorded that Brother Lawrence told him:


That all things are possible to him who believes; that they are less difficult to him who hopes; that they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.


At the core of this teaching is the liberation and joy that come with surrender. And the more you love and trust God the easier it will be for you to surrender, which will generate a virtuous circle: By relinquishing control, you become more trusting, which frees (more…)

Doing Little Things with Great Love

April 6, 2013

the-practice-of-the-presence-of-god-brother-lawrence-audiobook
In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the priest who interviewed Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, recorded that Brother Lawrence told him:

That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.



What a powerful statement. Few of us will achieve greatness in the eyes of the world, but all of us can achieve greatness in the eyes of God simply by performing your duties with pure intention, a spirit of service and a loving heart.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like (more…)

Give It to God

April 5, 2013

brother-lawrence-pencil-drawing
In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the priest who interviewed Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, recorded that Brother Lawrence told him:

That our sanctification did not depend on changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own.




In those few words lies great wisdom. if you’re frustrated because you can’t find the time for a spiritual practice, you need (more…)

One Desire Only

April 4, 2013

brother-lawrence
In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the priest who interviewed Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, wrote:

That in his trouble of mind he had consulted nobody, but knowing only by the light of faith that God was present, he contented himself with direction all his actions to Him, i.e., doing them with a desire to please Him, let what would come of it.



I’ve never worked in the kitchen of a Paris monastery (to the best of my knowledge anyway) but I have come to the same conclusion: When you live to please God instead of anyone or anything else, including your (more…)

Wait Till You See What I Have in My Purse!

April 3, 2013

brother-lawrence-the-practice-of-the-presence-of-god-book-coverMy friend Nancy Williamson came over today to buy a few copies of my book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World. As we sat in the living room talking, I mentioned that it had taken me three months to not only source every quote in the book on GodsEyesQuotes.com but also to link to those sources. Nancy commented that sourcing all those quotes must have been enjoyable. I told her, “Yes, it was like going to school. There were so many people quoted who I had heard of but didn’t know anything about.” One name popped into my head so I added, ‘For example, Brother Lawrence. I knew the name but nothing else, and I enjoyed learning about him.”

Nancy smiled and said, “Have you read his book?” “No,” I told her, “but I’d like to some day.” As she reached for her purse, she (more…)