The first letter was apparently written to the prioress of one of the Carmelite convents nearby.
A habitual sense of God’s presence is a gift from the Lord.
The best way to achieve a constant recognition of the presence of God is to give ourselves completely to God, and to “renounce, for the love of Him, everything that [is] not He.”
We see ourselves as poor criminals, and God as both Judge and Father.
When our minds stray from focusing on God, we should not beat ourselves up about it, rather readjust our course in the preferred direction. “I found no small pain in this exercise,” wrote Brother Lawrence, “yet I continued,” because of these great advantages:
– holy freedom
– familiarity with God
– grace from God
– natural and habitual awareness of God’s presence.
Prayer is not only for specific times and places, but a constant, continual connection with God.
“We can do nothing without [God],” Brother Lawrence reminds us. “May all things praise Him.”
Sometimes these concepts sound simple, since they are simply framed. But, as Br. Lawrence reminds us, “I found no small pain in this exercise.” Am I willing to take pains to become wholly God’s? Am I willing to renounce everything that is not God? How attached am I to this world?
Yet I long for holy freedom, familiarity with God and a natural awareness of His presence.
Seems to me the choice is plain, if not simple. What will we lose and what will we gain when we make this choice?