I received Brother Lawrence’s classic work on spirituality called The Practice of the Presence of God from Paraclete Press and was impressed at his devotion to experiencing God in all things, especially pain and suffering.
Brother Lawrence intentionally did the jobs that were out of the way and his least favorite, convinced that by doing these simplest of acts, he could conform his will more to Jesus. For him, that was kitchen work (isn’t it that way for most of us?), and it led him to an intense prayer life and the desire to experience God in all things.
Most Christians (Catholic like Brother Lawrence, or Protestant) show far less dedication to finding, experiencing, and reveling in Jesus as much as he did. For him, as the title of the book suggests, the greatest of all things was to experience being in the presence of a holy, loving, and gracious God. Driven by the realization that his will is too often so unlike Jesus’ will, he developed a deep need for personal reflection, prayer, and a commitment to growing and understanding in God.
In writing to the Grand Vicar of the Cardinal of Noailles, Brother Lawrence wrote: “All things are possible to the one who believes; even more to the one who hopes; still more to the one who loves; and even more to the one who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.” (Page 47) I know many people who are in need of such an encouraging word and it deeply affects the way we do spirituality. We see in Brother Lawrence, the desire to know God and to be known, to love and be loved, and to grow and share in faith.
The book is a short, quick read, I did it in less than two hours. Worth a look if you are interested in Catholic spirituality, Brother Lawrence, or insights on growing in faith.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Paraclete Press blogging program. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.