Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

This is a tiny little book of letters and memoirs from brother Lawrence. He was a Carmelite monk who was first a soldier and a hermit.  God had his hand on Lawrence’s life and we benefit greatly from his humble and holy approach to Christian spirituality.  Personally, I really adored this book, yet the dualistic bias in the afterward (written by an anonymus editor/publisher from Whitaker House) totally disturbing.  They actually go so far as to say a monastic profession is more holy than being a soldier.  That is not found anywhere in Scripture and is false.  It’s disturbing.

Anyways, if you’ve never read any monastic classics, this is a great book and it’s small enough that you won’t feel destroyed.  Here’s some great quotes:

  • p.12 “The church’s only road to the perfection of Christ is faith.”
  • p.13, “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.”
  • p.17, “If Brother Lawrence didn’t sin, he thanked God for it, because only God’s grace could keep him from sinning.”
  • p.21, “With this assurance, Brother Lawrence wasn’t afraid of anything.”
  • p.24, “He said that our sanctification does not depend as much on changing our activities as it does on doing them for God rather than for ourselves.”
  • p.39, “I haven’t followed any particular steps in my own spiritual growth.  On the contrary, I found methods to be discouraging.”
  • p.34, “God often allows us to go through difficulties to purify our souls and to teach us to rely on Him more (1 Peter 1:6-7).”

pages read= 95 ~ year to date= 4548 ~ 2009 goal=9,000 ~ (51%)


One thought on “Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

  1. I love hearing about and talking to monks because they seem to have such a focus on God all the time. But the question I have is why can’t we (me included) still have a dedication like Brother Lawrence and live a life not in a monastery? I feel like you go to holier grounds when you go to a monastery, why not every day when we work next to people or when we are buying groceries?

    I strive to have the focus like Brother Lawrence had…


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