The Practice of the Presence of God

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Overview

The Practice of the Presence of God consists of conversations, letters, and maxims on how we should live, with the idea of cultivating the sense of the presence of God in the soul and, indeed, in the world around us. We need this great spiritual classic now more than ever, when we are overwhelmed by the vastness of today's problems. We need to return to the simplicity of Brother Lawrence, whose "little way" lightens our burdens and rejoices the heart.
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The Practice of the Presence of God

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Overview

The Practice of the Presence of God consists of conversations, letters, and maxims on how we should live, with the idea of cultivating the sense of the presence of God in the soul and, indeed, in the world around us. We need this great spiritual classic now more than ever, when we are overwhelmed by the vastness of today's problems. We need to return to the simplicity of Brother Lawrence, whose "little way" lightens our burdens and rejoices the heart.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802725103
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 10/28/1985
  • Series: Living Library
  • Edition description: 1st large print ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 4.99 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

A lay brother in the Parisian Carmelite Order, which practiced extreme asceticism, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1611And#151;1691) taught that one's "entire call and duty" was "to adore God and to love Him, without worrying about the rest." He was born in Lorraine province, France. He was unlearned and came from a humble background. While looking at a barren tree one wintry day, the eighteen-year-old Lawrence realized that this tree would blossom once again. He was profoundly moved by God's providence and overcome with love for God. He was not only converted that day but also forever committed to serving God wholeheartedly. As a result, he entered the Carmelite religious community. He changed his name from Nicolas Herman to Brother Lawrence and became known for his simple, practical faith.Although he lived a life separate from the world, he insisted that one could always be aware of God's presence. He believed that by accepting God's help and guarding our souls by keeping them in tune with God's will, we can have constant fellowship with the Lord. He developed the habit of losing himself in communion with God, thereby finding himself again in God's love. In his eightieth year, he died peacefully, embraced in the arms of the Lord whom he had loved and served. His writings have been appreciated for the last three hundred years by thousands of believers.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Dorothy Day 1
Editor's Introduction 14
Conversations
The First Conversation--August 3, 1666 23
The Second Conversation--September 28, 1666 27
The Third Conversation--November 22, 1666 36
The Fourth Conversation--November 25, 1666 40
Letters
I. To a Nun 49
II. To a Nun 54
III. To the Same 58
IV. To a Woman in the World 62
V. To a Religious 65
VI. To a Nun 73
VII. To a Woman in the World 76
VIII. To a Nun 78
IX. To the Same 81
X. To a Woman in the World 84
XI. To a Nun 86
XII. To a Nun 91
XIII. To a Nun 94
XIV. To the Same 96
XV. To the Same 98
XVI. To the Same 100
Spiritual Maxims
On Faith 105
Necessary Practices for Attaining the Spiritual Life 106
How We Must Worship God in Spirit and in Truth 110
Of the Union of the Soul with God 111
Of the Presence of God 114
Means for Attaining the Presence of God 117
The Benefits of the Presence of God 119
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First Chapter

Chapter 1 First Conversation

I met Brother Lawrence for the first time today. He told me that God had been especially good to him in his conversion. He was eighteen at the time, and still in the world. He told me that it had all happened one winter day, as he was looking at a barren tree. Although the tree's leaves were indeed gone, he knew that they would soon reappear, followed by blossoms and then fruit. This gave him a profound impression of God's providence and power which never left him. Brother Lawrence still maintains that this impression detached him entirely from the world and gave him such a great love for God that it hasn't changed in all of the forty years he has been walking with Him. Brother Lawrence had formerly been a servant to the treasurer of the monastery and had been very clumsy. He believed that in order to be saved, he'd have to be punished for this clumsiness. Therefore, he sacrificed all of the pleasures in his life to God. But, rather than punishing him, God gave him nothing but wholehearted satisfaction. Often, he would tell the Lord endearingly that he felt deceived, because his Christian walk had thus far been so pleasant and not filled with suffering as he had anticipated.

Brother Lawrence insisted that it is necessary to always be aware of God's presence by talking with Him throughout each day. To think that you must abandon conversation with Him in order to deal with the world is erroneous. Instead, as we nourish our souls by seeing God in His exaltation, we will derive a great joy at being His. Another thing he mentioned was that our faith is too weak. Instead of letting faith rule our lives, we are guided by our petty, everyday, mechanical prayers, which are always changing. The Church's only road to the perfection of Christ is faith.

The dear brother remarked that we must give ourselves totally to God, in both temporal and spiritual affairs. Our only happiness should come from doing God's will, whether it brings us some pain or great pleasure. After all, if we're truly devoted to doing God's will, pain and pleasure won't make any difference to US. We also need to be faithful, even in dry periods. It is during those dry spells that God tests our love for Him. We should take advantage of those times to practice our determination and our surrender to Him. This will often bring us to a maturity further on in our walk with God.

Brother Lawrence wasn't surprised by the amount of sin and unhappiness in the world. Rather, he wondered why there wasn't more, considering the extremes to which the enemy is capable of going. He said he prayed about it, but because he knew God could rectify the situation in a moment if He willed it, he didn't allow himself to become greatly concerned. To succeed in giving ourselves to God as much as He desires, we must constantly guard our souls. In addition to being involved in spiritual matters, the soul is involved in the things of this world. But when we turn our backs on Him, exposing our souls to the world, He will not so easily answer our call. When we are willing to accept God's help and guard our souls according to His desires, we may commune with Him whenever we like.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2003

    Edited edition no good!

    I was very disappointed when I gave this to a friend for his birthday only to find out it's not the whole book! My copy which I've had for ages has 4 Conversations, 13 letters, and a 38 page section of "Spiritual Maxims." The copy he got has 4 Conversations and 4 Letters... that's it! Not even half of the book!

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2001

    the wisdom of a common man...

    Bro. Lawrence is someone all Christians should model after because he, himself, modeled after Jesus. He teaches Christians how to live an overcoming life avoiding sin and walking in the presence of God. Read it. I loved it.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2010

    absolute genius!

    brother lawrence had some of the best thoughts on spiritual subjects.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    It's as the title says

    Read this book in teens when first became a Christian. Very practical steps to become in God's presence throughout your very day and night, through home, work, and spiritual journey. Short, but filled with practical Christian ethics

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    "THAT" IS NOT MY FAVORITE WORD

    I was not impressed with this book. I found the author's favorite word and he started every sentence and every paragraph with "that". I lost any content and message the author tried to convey. Really too bad.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    A beautiful book

    This is indeed a book for someone who wants quiet moments in their life. Just light the candles, turn off the world and let the peace and wisdom of God fill your soul no matter what Faith you are. You do not need to read all of it at one time, that is not what this book is all about. But, you can read parts and savor the words. It is nice to have some thing that takes you away for all the evil, noise and recklessness of the world. Just take a moment for yourself, and you will also realize that being in the quiet is refreshing and peace will come into your life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    A Must Read for Every Believer

    This is one of the most powerful books on fellowship with God that you will ever read. The author shares how to have a prayer life throughout your whole day and every waking moment of your life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    Outstanding Book

    I loved this book alot. If you are wanting a deeper understanding of God, or want to be incouraged, this is the book for you. You will not regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Good and uplifting for life's troubles

    I have read this book many times. I just wanted it in my Nook library. It helps get through life when trobles seem so large, teaching that we all only have one day (at a time). And if one day is all we have, then why worry about tomorrow. I recommend it to everyone, especially people who see no light at the end of the tunnel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2011

    Insightful, real world spirituality.

    This book breaks down the rigorously structured views and practices regarding how to be and pray as a Christian into an every day real world approach. Brother Lawrence emphasizes how frequent chats with God (versus occasional formal prayers) will assist us with experiencing God's love and presence each and every day.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    Excellent classic!

    This book shows us how to serve God in Simplicity and joy. We don't have to be perfect because only God is. Teaches that we serve God best when we serve in the ordinary tasks of the day. This is a book to read & reread throughout your spiritual journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2014

    This book has helped me work better for God.

    I'm disavled in a wheelchair. But in this book, Brother Lawrence has helped me to live my life, so I can do more for God. Even from this wheelchair!
    Timmy-James

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 13, 2010

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    Posted August 8, 2011

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    Posted October 18, 2010

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    Posted February 13, 2010

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    Posted May 4, 2012

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews

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