This is the 3rd “first-Tuesday-of-the-month” post in the series on The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life by Brother Lawrence (1605-1691). This little book profoundly impressed me with its simplicity and encouragement.
Notice: I’m not a philosopher or a theologian; the following are my simple understandings of Brother Lawrence’s writings. I welcome your insights and comments.
– When Brother Lawrence slipped up on his concentration on God’s presence, distracted by life’s duties, he immediately confessed his lapse and returned to God with even more fervor.
– Practiced obedience results in “unspeakable pleasures.”
– God neither deceives nor abandons the person committed to endure for His sake.
– God always provides strength to bear whatever comes, when it comes.
– Our trust honors God.
I’ve discovered over the years that my true disappointment is not with God but with myself. I fail often; I can’t trust myself; I am not dependable. Brother Lawrence confirms that fact, but holds up the reassurance that God never fails and is always trustworthy and dependable. He always provides, never abandons.
If we practice obedience because we are aware of God’s constant presence with us, we will have the strength we need as well as joy in serving Him.
“Many do not advance in the Christian progress,
because they stick in penances, and particular exercises,
while they neglect the love of God, which is the end…
There is needed neither art nor science for going to God,
but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him,
or for His sake, and to love Him only.”
Sometimes all the programs and methods and tools we employ to bring us closer to God actually detract from our true worship, which is always and only to love and delight in God. As stated above, all we need is a heart committed to God. To love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.