I hope for the merciful grace of seeing Him in a few days.Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D.
For more than fifty years the always obliging goodheartedness of Lawrence—who lived the depth of a contemplation that was the source of the wisdom of his counsels—delighted and inspired the friars of the monastery on the Rue de Vaugirard.
His physical sufferings increased, however. The sciatic gout that caused his limping tormented him for about twenty-five years and degenerated into an ulcer of the leg, leaving him in intense pain.1
He was ill three times during the last years of his life. When he recovered the first time he said to the physician: “Doctor, your remedies have worked too well for me. You have only delayed my happiness!”2
He anxiously awaited the glorious Encounter. Three weeks before he died he wrote “Goodbye, I hope to see him soon.”3 And six days before the end: “I hope for the merciful grace of seeing him in a few days.”4
Lucid up to the last moments, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection died on February 12, 1691, at the age of seventy-seven.
Conrad de Meester, o.c.d.
1 Father Joseph Beaufort’s Eulogy, no. 51
2 Eulogy, 51
3 L15, letter to a Blessed Sacrament Nun
4 L16, to the same nun
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.
Featured image: This photo of the garden at the Discalced Carmelite friars monastery on Rue de Vaugirard in Paris was taken between 1900 and 1901 by the renowned French architectural photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927). He worked in and around Paris for roughly 35 years, documenting images for artists to use as source material in their own works of art. As the modernization of Paris architecture advanced in the 20th century, Atget became a documentary photographer of the city’s architectural history.
Not only did Eugène Atget’s photography influence generations of French artists, but he inspired American photographers, as well. In 1968, the Museum of Modern Art acquired the entire contents of Atget’s studio, the largest and most significant collection of his work: roughly 5,000 vintage prints and more than 1,000 glass plate negatives. On the Museum website, you can view nearly 3000 digitized photographs from their Atget Collection [Photo source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain); Documentation source: Eugène Atget | MoMA].