Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pray Unceasingly

This past weekend my wife and I along with 10 other Cursillistas went on a short retreat. The retreat was on St Paul and was very good. During one of our sharing sessions the facilitator had us looking at Paul's insistence of praying unceasingly and I brought up Brother Lawrence.

Well is this a God thing or what, but when strolling through my blog list I happened upon D'artagnan's blog and lookie what I find, this little quote from Brother Lawrence:

"[He said:] that our sanctification did not depend upon our changing our works, but upon our doing that for God's sake which commonly we do for our own; that it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards."
In D'artagnan's post he links to an online source where you can find The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. If you have not had the pleasure of reading Brother Lawrence you have no excuse now.

I found this quote toward the end:
"Let all our efforts be to know God. The more one knows Him, the greater one desires to know Him. Knowledge is commonly the measure of love. The deeper and more extensive our knowledge, the greater is our love. If our love of God were great we would love Him equally in pain and pleasure."
On a website I browsed during a search on Brother Lawrence I found the following: "Brother Lawrence 1605-1691, was a monk in the early 1600's. It is said that he could have been one of the most humble men to ever walk the earth. He worked as a cook in the monastery and found delight in this occupation. His entire life revolved around walking with God each day. Letters were found after his death where he explained this process. The words drip like honey. quote: 'Leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you. Why, then, must God be neglected?' - Brother Lawrence"

On another site I found: "Brother Lawrence says that secret conversations with God must be 'repeat[ed] often in the day,' and 'for the right practice of it, the heart must be empty of all other things.' He speaks of the trouble of wandering thoughts and says that the habit of practicing the presence of God is the 'one remedy' and the 'best and easiest method' he knows to dissolve distractions."

There is something very real about this simplicity of focus - an identification with God through Jesus praying unceasingly.

1 comment:

Athos said...

My favorite anecdote about Bro Lawrence is that when he found he had sinned, he would look up to Heaven and say, "See what happens when you leave me on my own?" and quietly get on with his tasks.