The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life - The Original Classic Edition

The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life - The Original Classic Edition

by Brother Lawrence


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I first learned about this wonderful little book through another very useful book entitled Great Books of the Christian Tradition by Terry Glaspey. Glaspey is a Christian booklover whos well read in Christian literature and considers this book one of the top ten that every Christian ought to read. The value of Brother Lawrences book is seen in the fact that it is one of the favorites of some of the other authors on Glaspeys top ten list: A.W. Tozer (author of The Pursuit of God) and Richard Foster (author of A Celebration of Discipline). Another popular Christian author (who is a Quaker like Foster) that was influenced by Brother Lawrence is mentioned in the introduction by Hal Helms in Paraclete Presss edition of The Practice of the Presence of God: Hannah Whitall Smith (author of The Christians Secret to a Happy Life). Mrs. Smith called Lawrences book one of the most helpful books I know. And still another Quaker, Thomas Kelly (author of the classic, A Testament of Devotion), treasured Brother Lawrences book as well. This is just a small handful of major authors influenced by this classic that testifies to its enduring value in the broader Christian community. Ive read all of the above classics and therefore can personally testify that Brother Lawrences principles are reflected in all of them!

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (a.k.a. Nicholas Herman) lived in the 17th century and was a monk within the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church. This was the Order of such notable Christian mystics as St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross who authored other seminal mystical texts. The Practice of the Presence of God is a small book of compiled documents of various literary genres. The one who compiled them was the Abbe of Beaufort who is the author of the Eulogy portion of the book. He was a close friend to Brother Lawrence and, at the request of others, published his eulogy along with four conversations he had with Brother Lawrence and sixteen letters from Brother Lawrence to various individuals (Reverend Mother N {for name}, Reverend Father N, and Madame N). Also included in the compilation are Spiritual Maxims that condense his fundamental spiritual principles and teachings. Included in The Paraclete Presss edition of this classic is a memoir from the Abbe de Beaufort entitled Brother Lawrences Way of Life, published around two years after his Eulogy and recorded conversations. Overall, The Paraclete Presss edition is a good compilation and translation (by Robert Edmonson) of this classic work.

The title of the book speaks volumes as to what the book is about. Brother Lawrence was a very practical man whose struggles were common ones that we can all relate to. His sincere honesty (and that of the Abbe) is apparent throughout and his spirituality is simple to understand. Application, however, may not be so simple at first, but with disciplined PRACTICE one can turn ones life into a perpetual prayer to God. Remember, prayer is more than just words on the lips (although that is important too!); it is a humble attitude of a heart that has abandoned itself to the God of grace! Whatever the task is at hand (including such a mundane task as washing dishes like Brother Lawrence), one can offer it up to God in an act of love and worship. Everything one does becomes sanctified as one lives unto God and follows the Holy Spirits leading. Two wonderful companion volumes to this book are Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade (one of my favorites!) and the Eastern Orthodox classic The Way of a Pilgrim by an anonymous Russian pilgrim. The former beautifully expounds on the same principles of Brother Lawrences book and the latter reflects that same concern to pray without ceasing which is what practicing the presence of God is all about.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781486150854
Publisher: Emereo Pty Ltd
Publication date: 06/15/2012
Pages: 18
Product dimensions: 7.44(w) x 9.69(h) x 0.04(d)

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