Practice Of Presence Of God
It was not from the lofty stature of the pulpit or the podium in the lecture hall, but rather from his menial place in the monastery kitchen and shoe-repair shop that Brother Lawrence expounded his spiritual masterpiece which has become known as The Practice of the Presence of God. We owe its publication to Brother Lawrence’s abbot who collected and edited the writings of this French Carmelite monk after his death in 1691 for his many friends and admirers. Brother Lawrence’s spiritual doctrine stems directly from his own lived faith. At the age of 18, he was given a moving experience of the presence of God that sustained him for the next forty-odd years. It filled him with the resolve to make the love of God the end of all his actions. Not that his life then became perfect. An acquaintance recalls that he was “a clumsy lummox, who was always breaking things.” For ten years he endured great spiritual trials, yet despite their intensity, Brother Lawrence “knew by faith that God was greater than anything he felt,” and at a critical moment he was blessed with a transforming grace: “I suddenly found myself changed and my soul experienced a profound inner peace as if it had found its center.” Brother Lawrence had learned to practice the presence of God.