Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Spiritual Life Consists of Practicing God's Presence

Anderson Gardens
Rockford, Illinois
I'm re-reading, devotionally, Brother Lawrence's spiritual classic, The Practice of the Presence of God. Lawrence, originally Nicholas Herman, was a 17th century French monk. Today I read his Second Letter. It's brief. It's deep.
  • He writes: "I still believe that all spiritual life consists of practicing God's presence and that anyone who practices it correctly will soon attain spiritual fulfillment."
  • To live in God's presence, 24/7, the heart must be emptied of everything that is not of God. Why? "Because God wants to possess our hearts completely. Before any work can be done in our souls, God must be totally in control."
  • Life doesn't get any better than living "in continuous communion with God."
  • Seek God, not for what benefits it can give you, but for God's own sake and out of love for him. God won't be used by us for our gratification and purposes.
  • Lawrence writes: "If I were a preacher, I would preach nothing but practicing the presence of God."
  • "If we only knew how much we need God's grace, we would never lose touch with Him. Believe me. Make a commitment never to deliberately stray from Him, to live the rest of your life in His holy presence. Don't do this in expectation of receiving heavenly comforts; simply do it out of love for Him." I am certain that the amount of grace God actually extends towards us far outweighs what grace we experience and are aware of.