The Practice of the Presence of God (17th Cent)

We cannot avoid the dangers of life without God’s continual help, so we should ask Him for it ceaselessly. But how can we ask for help unless we are with Him? To be with Him, we must cultivate the holy habit of thinking of Him often (49).

The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of conversations, letters, and maxims by Brother Lawrence along with a brief biography of him, written shortly after his death.

Throughout his life Lawrence said that one should practice the presence of God by thinking of God regularly throughout the day, thereby growing closer to God. He defines it as “finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorrow, separation from God, and even in times of unfaithfulness and sin” (61). For Lawrence this practice builds the cardinal virtues of faith, hope, and love. He often counsels his readers to place one’s focus on God above all else—doing everything in the light of love of God, whether praying in church or serving in the kitchen. He says we must see Christ in all, serve all as Christ, and so draw nearer to God. Lawrence also says that we must not be content with a mere acquaintance with God, but we must grow day by day into deeper communion with him.

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2 responses to “The Practice of the Presence of God (17th Cent)

  1. Pingback: Harlots of the Desert (1987, late antiquity) | Three New, One Old·

  2. Pingback: Rule of St. Benedict (6th cent) | Three New, One Old·

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