One of my favorite spiritual books was written by a dishwasher. Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God is chock-full of practical ways to keep the lines of communication with God open at all times, every day. Brother Lawrence took very seriously Saint Paul's command to "pray without ceasing," and thus was born his ways of "practising" God's presence in his daily life.
In fact, if you do not own a copy of this all-important book, one that is read and put into practice by both Catholic and Protestant Christians, this site allows you to print your own copy in booklet form: The Practice of the Presence of God.
Here are a few of my favorite quotations from this slim volume, overflowing with wisdom:
"I did not engage in a religious life but for the love of GOD, and I have endeavoured to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of GOD. I shall have this good at least, that till death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him." --from The Second ConversationBut this week's quotation does not come from Brother Lawrence--although it deals with the same theme: communing with our loving God at all times, in all places, never allowing the constant communication to slacken. The truth of this sentence is mind-blowing in its simplicity yet deeply profound in its application to our daily lives:
"That we ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. That GOD never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced." --from The Second Conversation
"That our only business was to love and delight ourselves in GOD." --from The Second Conversation
"When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of GOD, a fresh remembrance coming from GOD invested his soul, and so inflamed and transported him that it was difficult for him to contain himself.
"That he was more united to GOD in his outward employments, than when he left them for devotion in retirement." --from the Third Conversation
"That there needed neither art nor science for going to GOD, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, or for His sake, and to love Him only." --from The Third Conversation
"That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times. That we are as strictly obliged to adhere to GOD by action in the time of action, as by prayer in its season.
"That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might...." --from The Fourth Conversation
"That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of GOD we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity." --from The Fourth Conversation
"One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized."So, on this Lord's Day, this Ninth Sunday After Trinity, I leave you to ponder and apply the truth that God is revealed in the common elements of our seemingly-mundane daily lives--if only we pursue Him, "practicing His presence" unceasingly and with all the love of which we are capable, praying with you the Collect for this day, this week:
--Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, February 7.
GRANT to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Wishing you a joyful Sunday in the love of our Lord,