Jul
01

Practicing the Presence – Pt. 14

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This post comes from the classic Christian devotional by Bro. Lawrence (Lawrence, Brother (Nicholas Herman, c. 1605-1691) who was a monk in the 1600’s. His simple but profound writings are an encouragement to believers today who desire to discover the presence of God in the midst of any chore, circumstance or crisis. It is truly gold for those desiring to live with a greater awareness of God’s presence in their lives. There are numerous postings from this work. You can view them all under the category, PRACTICING THE PRESENCE.

The material for the PRACTICING THE PRESENCE category was acquired from the (UTF-8) free text version through Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College, http://www.ccel.org  This site is a great resource for Classic public domain materials such as this.

NINTH LETTER

Enclosing a letter to a corresponding sister, whom he regards with
respect tinged with fear. * His old theme concisely put.

THE enclosed is an answer to that which I received from – ; pray
deliver it to her. She seems to me full of good will, but she would go
faster than grace. One does not become holy all at once. I recommend
her to you: we ought to help one another by our advice, and yet more by
our good examples. You will oblige me to let me hear of her from time
to time, and whether she be very fervent and very obedient.

Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to
please GOD, that perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity. You and I
have lived above forty years in religion [i.e., a monastic life]. Have
we employed them in loving and serving GOD, who by His mercy has called
us to this state and for that very end? I am filled with shame and
confusion, when I reflect on the one hand upon the great favours which
GOD has done, and incessantly continues to do, me; and on the other,
upon the ill use I have made of them, and my small advancement in the
way of perfection.

Since by His mercy He gives us still a little time, let us begin in
earnest, let us repair the lost time, let us return with a full
assurance to that FATHER of mercies, who is always ready to receive us
affectionately. Let us renounce, let us generously renounce, for the
love of Him, all that is not Himself; He deserves infinitely more. Let
us think of Him perpetually. Let us put all our trust in Him: I doubt
not but we shall soon find the effects of it, in receiving the
abundance of His grace, with which we can do all things, and without
which we can do nothing but sin.

We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life, without the actual
and continual help of GOD; let us then pray to Him for it continually.
How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him
but in thinking of Him often? And how can we often think of Him, but by
a holy habit which we should form of it? You will tell me that I am
always saying the same thing: it is true, for this is the best and
easiest method I know; and as I use no other, I advise all the world to
it. We must know before we can love. In order to know GOD, we must
often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also
think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure. This is an
argument which well deserves your consideration.
 

 

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