Home Forums Noticings… 190703 – Brother Lawrence

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    July 3, 2019

    This month in ‘Noticings’ I’ll be sharing a series of reflections and exercises to help us in our prayer lives. I’m drawing primarily from material from someone I frequently call my hero – a 17th century French lay monk named Brother Lawrence.

    Lawrence was not a priest or a theologian, but nonetheless his simple letters to friends were collected, collated, and compiled into a book called “The Practice of the Presence of God”, which has become a timeless classic of Christian spirituality. This would have shocked our friend Lawrence who spent his life in the monastery kitchen washing pots and pans, and as a cobbler repairing his brothers’ sandals. While doing these supposedly mundane jobs he was totally immersed in prayerful, worshipful love and adoration of God.

    This real life, fully integrated spirituality, one that was called a ‘non-method method’, is so simple, and yet also so profound. Brother Lawrence became known for his spiritual depth, and despite not being a priest he became sought after as a spiritual director. And his infuriatingly simple message for a deep and prayerful life essentially boils down to this: just do it!

    The reflections for the rest of the month will follow this format: a verse of scripture, a quote from a spiritual writer, a teaching based on Brother Lawrence’s work, and an invitation to engage in Lawrence’s spirituality – to practice the presence of God. I hope you will enjoy these ‘Noticings’ and look forward to your responses and reflections.

    I learned the phrase “Surely God is in this place” from Jacob in Genesis 28:16, but I learned how to apply it in practical and helpful ways by studying Brother Lawrence. My prayer is that these will be as rich and transformational for you as they’ve been for me.

    Surely God is in this place…

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