To my fellow divine beings: you are the light of the world! We all know that our number one responsibility (and gift) is to love- our God and our
fellow man. Yet this small but imperative task is sometimes the most difficult thing to do.
I am filled with gratitude for a book I received recently, a tiny mystical gem which relays a beautiful, simple message of love, and am eager to pass
on some of the knowledge gained from its pages in hopes a few may seek it out for themselves.
Last year, one of my friends handed me a small and unassuming book called Practice the Presence of God
by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence
was a lay brother of the Carmelite monks (known as Barefoot Carmelites), born in 1614. His letters and recorded conversations were compiled into a
book after his death.
His humility and demeanor was luminous and highly attractive, leading many to seek out his presence and spiritual guidance. He was particularly known
for being entirely at peace with himself and the world around him. He lived a life of surrender and accepted the good and bad with equal magnanimity.
Here are some quotes from the book and a bit of commentary to go with them. I pray it reaches some with an inspiring message of finding peace,
regardless of the external surroundings, through love, gratitude and humility, and above all: a continuous conversation with God.
Brother Lawrence first came to love God by glimpsing a bare tree in the midst of winter. Here is a quote from the book depicting his tremendous
reaction to the sight:
“That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time, the leaves would be renewed, and after that
the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of GOD, which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this
view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for GOD, that he could not tell whether it had increased in above
forty years that he had lived since.”
Regardless where we are in the relentless march of our own limited earthly timeline, we are surrounded by cyclical reminders of rebirth and renewal.
Whether we be in the midst of the frigid winter, or the dark of the night, we are comforted by the knowledge that spring/dawn is rapidly approaching.
Brother Lawrence saw these signs as a promise of things to come.
His idea of the perfect relationship with God was to “establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with him,” and
believed that “it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries.”
Practicing a continual conversation with God might not be the same for all people. It would most likely require heightened vigilance, and a
meta-awareness of our own thought processes. If our thoughts are straying from loving, enjoying or learning from or fully experiencing the moment (in
the hard times especially), we are losing focus on what is of utmost importance to us.
Brother Lawrence had a simple and wonderful manner of communion with God. He describes how everything he did, he did happily and with love, “that
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.” He said
that “he had always been governed by love, without selfish views, resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, found reasons to be
well satisfied with his method.” He did his jobs at the monastery (cooking, cleaning etc) in the same manner- grateful for the task and lovingly,
glad to restore things to their natural order out of love for the creator. Can you picture him now, smiling quietly while scrubbing pans until they
Moreover, when he erred, he didn’t concern himself with it, rather “placed his sins betwixt him and God, to tell him that he did not deserve His
favors, but God continued to bestow them with abundance.” He then picked himself up, and took up where he left off, for by his reasoning, without
God’s help, he would be constantly in error.
I leave you with a lovely quote about one way to achieve peace through spirituality:
“I engaged in a religious life only 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. I shall have this good at least, that till death I have done all that is in me to
Goodnight, and may you be blessed with peace and divine love!
edit on 14-1-2017 by zosimov because: (no reason given)