Friday, October 31, 2008

All Things Sacred

I recently read a great post by my friend Ashley called Sacred or Secular. It reminded me of a book I read right after college, the practice of the presence OF GOD by brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in the 1600's. He spent most of his life in the monastery working in the kitchen (sound familiar?) and in his later years he repaired sandals. Exciting huh? He had a lowly position yet because of his peace and character, others were drawn to him and often sought his wisdom on spiritual matters. His secret was continually practicing God's presence. In every moment he constantly practiced turning his thoughts, his heart, his worship towards God. He was in such constant fellowship with the Father, he said, "I have given up all but my intercessory prayers to focus my attention on remaining in His holy presence." Can you imagine walking so closely with God that you no longer had to stop and pray? What if it just flowed naturally out of every little thing you do?

Now don't misunderstand. His message is not about doing things for God. It's about loving God. Loving God without restrictions on when and where and how. This small book is a collection of letters and conversations and I highly recommend it. I don't have much analysis, I just wanted to share some of my favorite quotes and be reminded that all things can be done to the glory of God.

Men invent means and methods of coming at God's love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God's presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?

Never tire of doing even the smallest things for Him, because He isn't impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done.

If we only knew how much we need God's grace, we would never lose touch with Him.

It isn't necessary to be too verbose in prayer, because lengthy prayers encourage wandering thoughts...If your mind wanders at times, don't be upset, because being upset will only distract you more.

We must try to converse with God in little ways while we do our work; not in memorized prayer, not trying to recite previously formed thoughts. Rather, we should purely and simply reveal our hearts as the words come to us.

The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way.

I could go on and on but the book is so little, I wanted to save plenty for you to discover on your own. Meanwhile, as you change diapers, return phone calls, fold clothes, attend meetings... whatever you do, remember that He is with you. Practice His presence.


Anonymous said...

Tracy I have read this little gem of a book too. It really is a great encouragement in learning how to exercise faith each and everyday in all circumstances. This was a new concept to me after conversion. I always thought Jesus was a sunday thing. Boy was I lost!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I forgot to put my name. I do not have blogger so I end up commenting anonymous.
Laura Frost