The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God

by Brother Lawrence, Brother Lawrence


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2016 Reprint of 1895 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end." He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For centuries this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day. Inspirational classic

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614279686
Publisher: Martino Fine Books
Publication date: 06/08/2016
Pages: 42
Sales rank: 364,116
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.10(d)

About the Author

Nicholas Herman was born in Lorraine province, France in about 1605; he came from a humble background and was an unlearned man. He was converted in 1629, and after being a soldier and a footman for some time, he entered the religious community of the Carmelites in Paris in about 1649. It was there, as a lay brother, that he took the name of Brother Lawrence. He remained in the community until his death in 1691. While in the community he worked most of the time as a helper in the kitchen; it is in this specific surrounding that he became known for his simple, practical faith.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Dorothy Day1
Editor's Introduction14
The First Conversation--August 3, 166623
The Second Conversation--September 28, 166627
The Third Conversation--November 22, 166636
The Fourth Conversation--November 25, 166640
I.To a Nun49
II.To a Nun54
III.To the Same58
IV.To a Woman in the World62
V.To a Religious65
VI.To a Nun73
VII.To a Woman in the World76
VIII.To a Nun78
IX.To the Same81
X.To a Woman in the World84
XI.To a Nun86
XII.To a Nun91
XIII.To a Nun94
XIV.To the Same96
XV.To the Same98
XVI.To the Same100
Spiritual Maxims
On Faith105
Necessary Practices for Attaining the Spiritual Life106
How We Must Worship God in Spirit and in Truth110
Of the Union of the Soul with God111
Of the Presence of God114
Means for Attaining the Presence of God117
The Benefits of the Presence of God119

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Practice of the Presence of God 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This little book is quite simply one of the most profound and important books ever written!
GoodGeniusLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brother Lawrence is a wonderful example of a person who has learned to soley focus on God and take great pleasure in His presence. I highly question whether he would have achieved such singularity of mind had he lived with a wife and children in today's world. Never-the-less, his wisdom and lessons are something to strive for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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