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The Practice of the Presence of God

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Overview

"Practicing the Presence of God" is a not a book by Brother Lawrence in the usual sense. Rather, it is a compilation by Joseph de Beaufort, one of Lawrence's contemporaries. In the first volume Beaufort recalls four conversations he had with Brother Lawrence. The second volume, contains parts of fifteen letters written by Lawrence, each which Beaufort introduces with notes on its context. Beaufort's first person narration throughout can be confusing to new readers, but this minor awkwardness has not prevented the book from joining the ranks of ...
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The Practice of the Presence of God

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Overview

"Practicing the Presence of God" is a not a book by Brother Lawrence in the usual sense. Rather, it is a compilation by Joseph de Beaufort, one of Lawrence's contemporaries. In the first volume Beaufort recalls four conversations he had with Brother Lawrence. The second volume, contains parts of fifteen letters written by Lawrence, each which Beaufort introduces with notes on its context. Beaufort's first person narration throughout can be confusing to new readers, but this minor awkwardness has not prevented the book from joining the ranks of the most celebrated Christian classics, nor its timeless message from transforming hearts.
Themes you will find include the devotion to unceasing prayer, the fusion of the ordinary and the spiritual, the simplicity of walking with God, and the necessity of trusting God to enjoy peace with Him and in all our circumstances.
This book has benefitted over ten generations of ordinary and outstanding people from every path. It is easy to understand, simple to apply and a source of joy and hope. May God bless your reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935785187
  • Publisher: Bottom of the Hill Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Pages: 54
  • Sales rank: 982,378
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.11 (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 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Spiritually Uplifting and Fulfilling

    I found this book to be the most spiritually uplifting book second only to the Holy Bible. Brother Lawrence gives a simple message on how to get closer to God.I read something from this book every day and have given many copies to others who are seeking a deeper relationship with God. Holly Fox Vellekoop, Author, 'STONE HAVEN:Murder Along the River'

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 17, 2005

    An all-time classic!

    This little book is quite simply one of the most profound and important books ever written!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Warning

    The Nook book listed on the page with this book is NOT the same book as the paperback and does not contain all of the content.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Very good

    A book everyone should read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Good

    Good. Will take more than one reading to properly absorb, because of language difference at time written. Excellent principles to enhance one's awareness of and relationship with God.

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

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Excellent

    This book will not disappoint. Everyone should read it.

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

    Posted October 20, 2008

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    Posted February 5, 2012

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    Posted September 21, 2011

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted February 2, 2009

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