The Practice of the Presence of God Hardcover – Oct 11 2005
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About the Author
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1611–1691) was a Carmelite monk who spent the greater part of his life in the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in Paris.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Brother Lawrence was a very simple person. This is one of the highest compliments I can give him, because I believe that the closer we come to God, the simpler we become. Apparently, he was the type of person, at least from outside appearances, who others would not have noticed much. He was somewhat clumsy and prone to accidentally breaking things. He was also someone who probably would not have fit in too well at a cocktail party. But he loved God and had a purity of heart uncommon in even the most religious people of our times. And what's more, he is not someone who wants to keep God all to himself, but who willingly shares his simple practice with others.
With all the prayer and meditation "techniques" available today, and with all the world's different rituals, ceremonies, and sacraments, perhaps the most powerful spiritual practice is the consistent recollection of God. Too simple? Yeah, that's just what our egos want us to believe.
It's hard for me to imagine anyone reading Brother Lawrence and not taking something of value from him. He is humble, simple, and pure. There are no stigmatas here, no divine intercession, and no miracles as a result of Brother Lawrence's life. There is simply a profound love for God and an eagerness to share that love with others. For this reason, there is a universality to Brother Lawrence that transcends religious boundaries. Perhaps I could best summarize his belief system by quoting the last words of this classic edition: "Count as lost each day not used in loving God."
I'm delighted to see the many editions available here at Amazon! Just ten years ago, Brother Lawrence had all but disappeared or was out of print.
Originally published as a pamphlet after Brother Lawrence's death in 1691, 'The Practice of the Presence of God' has a truly fascinating history. Though first published in France, it skipped over to Belgium and the Netherlands where it quickly was embraced by the many groups who were the result of what we today call the Protestant Reformation. At one point it was translated into twenty-three languages. (It is thought that Brother Lawrence's little work was first brought to the United States by John Wesley when he made a trip to Georgia.) Then, the little book would seem to disappear for awhile, then reappear. Yet, Our Father has given this little book the staying power of 300+ years. Why?
If anyone has ever so sweetly and succinctly summarized the words of Our Lord in The Gospel, it is the quiet, unassuming Brother Lawrence who said, "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it."
Brother Lawrence left the gift of a way of life available to anyone who seeks to know God's peace and presence; that anyone, regardless of age or circumstance, can practice -anywhere, anytime.
No book can ever substitute the Bible for spiritual truth; but Brother Lawrence brings light to reality in speaking of the practice of the presence of God. This book reveals the reality of walking with God on an intimate level regardless of whether you're waiting for the next cup of coffee at work or simply secluded in your prayer closet. You can practice His presence moment by moment, in silent conversation, in prayer or in submissive listening ("Speak, Lord, thy servant listeneth"). Brother Lawrence's letters and maxims come to us on an earthly and touchable level, despite the fact that they were written in 17th century France between what that time regarded as learned people.
I would greatly encourage people yearning for closeness to God to consider purchasing this book. Though it cannot replace Scripture, it shines yet more light on the application of a constant, intimate relationship woth God/Christ.
It always surprises me that some people from different walks of life and religious experiences have a hard time receiving insight and wisdom from someone else seeking God, yet this book provides the wisdom of seeking God in all details and events of life and not merely settling for 'quiet times' of devotion. An excellent resource for protestants, orthodox and catholic alike as well as others. However be warned that you cannot just read straight through, nearly every paragraph is a large thought in itself.
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