Besides conversations recorded by others, Brother Lawrence also connected with friends via letter. Some of these have been included in the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Below is the essence of his sixth letter, and responses that come to my mind.
* Topic: encouragement to persevere
* “It is better late than never” to pursue our connection with God. We cannot live satisfied lives “without the practice of the presence of God.”
* We must keep our souls centered on God, never turning away
* The process of concentrating our souls on God will require self-sacrifice and the laying aside of certain pleasures that, while good in themselves, interfere with our devotion to God.
* As often as our minds wander from God, we should recall ourselves to His presence
* Sometimes it is advisable to withdraw from some of our “means” of spiritual exercise in order to concentrate on the “end,” which is God Himself
* Persevere in practicing the presence of God by any means you can invent (praise, adoration, desire, resignation, thanksgiving)
* As difficult as the process may be, persevere “to death,” no matter the difficulties
* Heretofore, Brother Lawrence’s pleas for us to center ourselves on God have been gentle. This sixth letter employs strong encouragement to make the sacrifices necessary to practice the presence of God
* Today is the day to take up our sincere pursuit of God’s presence, no matter our situation or our age
* How often is my devotional time a race to read a certain number of chapters and pray for the people on my list so I can go on to other things? How often do I miss any true devotion to God during my quiet time?
* If we are to persevere “to death,” there is nothing that is more important than practicing the presence of God
* I find it amazing that God wants so much to be in relationship with us. To walk and talk with us. To bless and guide us. Why do we—more specifically, why do I—so often put Him off?
Favorite Quotes from the Sixth Letter:
“We must serve God in a holy freedom…recalling our mind to God mildly and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him.”
“…we may continue with Him our commerce of love, persevering in His holy presence…”