Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Feed and nourish your soul with high notions of God

I have been reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

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.
snowtop volcano
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
If I just concentrate on God's majesty, His beautiful presence and His loving grace, I will understand that all the earth and all the people live under sin.

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.


  1. This was a touching post. Thank you for sharing. I hope 2014 is joyful for you, and you continue on your path with Jesus.

  2. Lovely post and pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  3. These are some nice ideas and a great way to see the next year.

  4. "I feel that God has given me an urge to commune with Him, a need for prayer and His word." I've been feeling this a lot lately myself, the stirring of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it's difficult to just stop and listen to His voice. Yes, he will fill you with joy and at times, tribulation, but as you know, it's the tribulations that bring us closer to Him.

  5. Beautiful post. I love all your pictures and thoughts.

  6. With this beautiful scenery, how do you not believe in God?

  7. Really nice post! Those pictures are amazing..

  8. Love the inspiring post! Those pics are fabulous! loved looking at them! thanks for sharing!

  9. Love the last few sentences. They are all so true.

    Michelle F.

  10. You mentioned that we should not expect more from others, than what we would expect for ourselves. It made me think of my relationship with my husband. Sometimes I expect a little much from him....

    1. I think that is very human thing to do, Shannon. We all expect a lot from the people around us and we forget that we can't even change ourselves for the better. So, how could they do all that we want?

  11. Beautiful photos and inspiring verses! I agree that the last few sentences are especially good.

  12. Thank you for this inspiring post, Joanna! The photos are beautiful! I agree that we should pray and talk to God all the time. God is the reason we could have a joyful heart. A joyful heart that understands and appreciates even the trials that God sends our way.

  13. I love Brother Lawrence. Nice thought provoking post,lovely pictures.

    1. Thank you, John. I apreciate your visit and I'm glad you liked the post and the pictures.

  14. I like the nature pictures, they look very peaceful which goes hand in hand with faith and God. Great pick.

  15. those views are stunning! God is amazing!

  16. Great post and great pictures. Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. I am not a christian nor catholic, I have an earth based religion.... yet I live my life the same as you, with those feelings of being scared and I embrace and pray to mother earth, she helps me when I feel out of place. Laying in the grass absorbing energy from the moon or sun is the way I feel the power of god, the earth.

    1. I feel that people who believe in earth, deep down, believe in a spirit Zulema. Something that created the earth and shaped all of us. I might be wrong in this. But I have felt that the spirit, the real god must be something bigger and more magnificent than just the things around us, just the creation.

  18. Wonderful post, Joanna! Yes, there are people you can't trust. Always will be, but I believe if we ask God & trust him he will steer us away from such people :)