In several books I found different methods to approach God and various practices of the spiritual life that I feared would burden my mind rather than facilitate what I wanted and what I sought, namely, a means of being completely disposed to God.
This led me to resolve to give all for all. Thus, after offering myself entirely to God in atonement for my sins, I renounced for the sake of his love everything other than God, and I began to live as if only he and I existed in the world.
Sometimes I considered myself before him as a miserable criminal at his judge’s feet, and at other times I regarded him in my heart as my Father, as my God. I adored him there as often as I could, keeping my mind in his holy presence and recalling him as many times as I was distracted.
I had some trouble doing this exercise, but continued in spite of all the difficulties I encountered, without getting disturbed or anxious when I was involuntarily distracted.
I was as faithful to this practice during my activities as I was during my periods of mental prayer, for at every moment, all the time, in the most intense periods of my work I banished and rid from my mind everything that was capable of taking the thought of God away from me.
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D.
Letter 12 to a nun (excerpt)
Lawrence of the Resurrection, B; De Meester, C 1994, Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God, translated from the French by Salvatore Sciurba, OCD, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Thanks to Dustin Groh for sharing this beautiful photo from Antelope Island, USA on Unsplash
Shared with 175 people in our Parish group, which includes many associated priests, both Catholic and Anglican.
It is very consoling that ‘This’ Br Lawrence that I consider the master in this practice said he struggled in the beginning too. Now I see, that Fidelity to God will let us encounter Him.
Fidelity is the key, as the Brother indicates. Not to be scandalized or to grow discouraged by our distractions or if we ever fall short of our expectations. Our only expectation is to know that God is there and that He love us infinitely, as St. Thomas Aquinas proves in the Summa and our Carmelite Doctors prove by their lives. Thanks for your comment!
His Practice of the Presence was one of the best books I ever read, yet I have lived distracted in a thousand ways. “Few things are needful, indeed, only one…” Thank you for recalling me to priorities. Constant recollection, even amidst the pots and pans, is my greatest need and desire.
Pots and pans! Great image.
Well, it was of course by Our Holy Mother… 😉