the wisdom of Brother Lawrence

GOD knows best what is needful for us, and all that God does is for our good.    If we knew how much God loves us, we should be always ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter; all would please that came from God.   Let all our employment be to know God: the more one knows God, the more one desires to know God. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love: and if our love of God were great we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.  Let us seek God often by faith: God is within us; seek God not elsewhere.  {Brother Lawrence}

GOD knows best what is needful for us, and all that God does is for our good.  

If we knew how much God loves us, we should be always ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter; all would please that came from God. 

Let all our employment be to know God: the more one knows God, the more one desires to know God. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love: and if our love of God were great we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.

Let us seek God often by faith: God is within us; seek God not elsewhere.  {Brother Lawrence}


Brother Lawrence, a lame war veteran, uneducated and clumsy, discovered his purpose at last: to simply live in the presence of the loving God.  The poet Denise Levertov writes that he "entered then the unending 'silent secret conversation,' the life of steadfast attention"  and found that the labors of everyday life became infused with "streams of sparkling color."  

Brother Lawrence invites us to love God. To know God. To be transformed.

 

To attain freefall

Japan, 1900/10 OHARA Shoson (koson) 1877 -

A pair of hawks have made a nest in the high oak tree outside our bedroom window.  From dawn till night, in sun or rain, the birds shriek and dive.  They wake me with their insistent screams, calling me, too: to hunt, to fly, to freefall, to float, to trust.  

Transforming presence

Dom Helder Câmara was archbishop in the poverty-stricken north-east of Brazil from 1964 to 1985, the most vicious period of military dictatorship.  As a pastor who championed the cause of the poor in the face of hostility, Câmara insisted upon a Christian spirituality that is expressed in our concrete, everyday commitments.  How is God's transforming your life today?

Saints as scientists?

Think of a particular time when, for a moment, you glimpsed the world in a new way: as a place fully illumined by beams of divine love.  If you could hold on to that perspective, if you could see that essential structure of God's beloved creation---how would you live your life differently today?  Do you know anyone who truly lives "in accordance with these elementary facts"?  How is their "sanctity" manifested in the ordinary course of events?

"So I got up and went out to the plain; and behold, the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face."  {Ezekiel 3:34}

Your dreams and hopes

Reflect upon an area in your life where you are weighed down by frustration or disappointment.  Could there be some expectation there that you need to release? What would it mean to ask God to help you dream new dreams and hope new hopes?

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  {Jeremiah 29:11}

Vintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Who Transformed My Faith

Wouldn't it be rude to just walk out of a room and leave a visiting friend all alone?  Brother Lawrence urged others imagine God as an ever-present companion who desires your inward friendship.  Why abandon this God who has come to be with you? Welcome God into your thoughts, he says, even at your meals and when you are in company. It doesn't take much; your smallest remembrance will always be acceptable to God. You need not cry very loud; God is closer than you know.  

Brother Lawrence's spirituality is summed up in two sentences: "Think often about God in the daytime, at night, in all your occupations, in your exercises, and even during your times of amusement. God is always near you and with you." Could that truly be enough?

How might you begin to practice the presence of God in the coming hour? The coming day? What image or idea will help you in this new practice?

"Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints." {Ephesians 6:18}