The Practice of the Presence of God is among the most enduringly popular of all Christian devotional works. It is a collection of conversations with a simple seventeenth-century French Carmelite monk who, through the simplest of everyday activities, was able to achieve a profound intimacy with God. Brother Lawrence's teaching has resonated with Christians for more than three hundred years.
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From The Practice of the Presence of God
The first time I saw Brother Lawrence was upon the third of August, 1666. He told me that God had done him a singular favor in his conversion at the age of eighteen.
That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the power and providence of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for God that he could not tell whether it had increased during the more than forty years he had lived since.
That we ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard to both things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of his will, whether he lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. That there needed to be fidelity in those drynesses or insensibilities and irksomenesses in prayer by which God tries our love to him; that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation, whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual advancement.
Table of Contents
The Practice of the Presence of God 1
The Pilgrim's Prayer 3
The Spiritual Maxims of Brother Lawrence 67
The Spiritual Maxims 73
The Character of Brother Lawrence 91
Gathered Thoughts 115