Monday, July 5, 2010

Practicing the presence

Artist: Georg Flegel

The following quotation summarizes is the core of the 17th Century lay brother's approach to prayer. I have experienced this teaching as unutterably beautiful for many years now. Mostly, Br. Lawrence practiced this "simple attention" among the pots and pans of the monastery kitchen:

I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me. And I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God -- or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes in me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great, that I am forced to use means to moderate them, and to prevent their appearance to others.

-- Brother Lawrence

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