He was a catholic Lay Brother among the barefooted Carmelites at Paris in the 17th century.
The book consists of letters he wrote and conversations he had with M. Beaufort, Grand Vicar to M. de Chalons, formerly Cardinal de Noailles.
|Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.|
I heard about Brother Lawrence three years ago, when a friend of mine was reading this same book.
She was very impressed with his idea of constant prayer and conversation with God.
I felt inspired by it also, and when I finally was able to buy the book, I was very excited.
I feel that God has given me an urge to commune with Him, a need for prayer and His word.
|Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20|
And I find this wonderful; it is what I have been praying for.
At the same time I feel afraid, because I have learned that everything has two sides.
This year’s word for me, what I felt that God gave to my heart, is joyful.
This is a joyful year, a year that will fill my heart with joy.
|You who love the LORD, hate evil. He preserves the souls of his holy ones. He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10|
But it will be a year filled with sorrow also, with fear and trepidation, with desperation.
Because how could I feel joy in the Lord if there would be anything else left for me in the world.
Brother Lawrence writes that "we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD'S Presence, by continually conversing with Him".
|If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows... then we must starve eternally. C. S. Lewis - The Problem of Pain|
Am I really able to quiet my thoughts and talk with God, even when my heart is in turmoil and my mind is upside down?
When I feel betrayed by a friend I trusted?
Can I really trust God, even when I know that the people aren't trustworthy?
"We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of GOD; which should yield us great joy in being devoted to Him", says Brother Lawrence.
|Let not your heart be troubled: ye belive in God, believe also in me. John 14:1|
People fail, the world isn't perfect, even the people you loved and trusted and believed to return your feelings, can and will hurt you.
But I must fill my soul with high notions of God, with His perfection, because this will bring me joy, this will make my life joyful.
According to Brother Lawrence "we ought to quicken, i.e., to enliven, our faith", and I believe it.
|Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5|
We are all imperfect; I should not demand from others what I cannot do myself.
I cannot make myself sinless, I cannot make myself truthful and trustworthy, I cannot even make myself to do what I know is good for myself.
|I will bow down toward your holy temple, and give thanks to your Name for your loving kindness and for your truth: for you have exalted your Name and your Word above all. Psalm 138:2|
So, how can I expect it from others?
How can I demand them to do what is impossible for me?
And then reprimand them for not living up to my high standards, standards that I fail every day.
"We ought to give ourselves up to GOD, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether he lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would lie equal to a soul truly resigned" teaches Brother Lawrence.
|We poison the wine as He decants it into us; murder a melody He would play with us as the instrument... Hence all sin, whatever else it is, is sacriledge. C. S. Lewis in Letters to Malcolm|
It is good to give, because we clutter our lives and souls with so much unnecessary.
It is good to give up, because we hang on to things that are damaging to us and when we let go, we set ourselves free.
It is good to forgive, because that way we can forgive ourselves and finally be free from the chain of regrets and remorse.
It is good to suffer, because then you will learn what really matters and Who really matters.