Brother Lawrence Quotes
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Brother Lawrence, born Nicholas Herman, a lowly and unlearned man, who, after having been a footman and soldier, was admitted a Lay Brother among the barefooted Carmelites at Paris in 1666, and was afterwards known as "Brother Lawrence."
His conversion, which took place when he was about eighteen years old, was the result, under God, of the mere sight in midwinter, of a dry and leafless tree, and of the reflections it stirred respecting the change the coming spring would bring. From that time he grew eminently in the knowledge and love of GOD, endeavoring constantly to walk "as in His presence." No wilderness wanderings seem to have intervened between the Red Sea and the Jordan of his experience. A wholly consecrated man, he lived his Christian life through as a pilgrim--as a steward and not as an owner, and died at the age of eighty, leaving a name which has been as "ointment poured forth."
Nicholas entered the priory in Paris as a lay brother, not having the education necessary to become a cleric, and took the religious name, "Lawrence of the Resurrection". He spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years.
Despite his lowly position in life and the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him. The wisdom he passed on to them, in conversations and in letters, would later become the basis for the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Father Joseph de Beaufort, later vicar general to the Archbishop of Paris, compiled this work after Brother Lawrence died. It became popular among Catholics and Protestants alike, with John Wesley and A. W. Tozer recommending it to others.
He found a peace in reconciling himself to the thought that this struggle and longing was his destiny. He said his soul "had come to its own home and place of rest." His death in 1691 occurred in relative obscurity, but his teachings lived on in the compilation of his words.
| The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, but when we see them in the wrong light; when we see them in the hand of God, who dispenses them; when we know that it is our loving Father who abases and distresses us; our sufferings will lose their bitterness and become even a matter of consolation.|
| We must do our business faithfully; without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to GOD mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him.|
Topics: Contentment, Business
| Let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God. Perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity.|
| 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.|
Topics: God, Worship
| I wish you could convince yourself that GOD is often (in some sense) nearer to us, and more effectually present with us, in sickness than in health.|
| One way to recollect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquillity, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the presence of God; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings.|
| I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God.... I just make it my business to persevere in His holy presence... My soul has had an habitual, silent, secret conversation with God.|
Topics: Prayer, Worship
| We ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speak to Him frankly and plainly, and implore His assistance in our affairs.|
| A little lifting of the heart suffices; a little remembrance of God, one act of inward worship are prayers which, however short, are nevertheless acceptable to God.|
Topics: Prayer, Worship, The Heart
| The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.|
Topics: Prayer, Business
Source: The Practice of the Presence of God
| We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.|
| Sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to us while we are with Him; and the greatest pleasures will be, without Him, a cruel punishment to us.|