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Selections from The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence 
Edited version © SpiritSite.com (some language has been adapted and/or simplified)

 


"He told me that he had been a servant in his early life, and that he was a very awkward fellow who broke everything."

First Conversation with Brother Lawrence

The first time I saw Brother Lawrence was on August 3, 1666. He told me that God had done him a great favor when he was eighteen. 

In the winter of that year, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves and realizing that within a little time, the leaves would be restored, and after that the flowers and fruit would appear Brother Lawrence received a view of the glory and power of God, which has never left him. 

He told me that he had been a servant in his early life, and that he was a very awkward fellow who broke everything. He had entered a monastery, thinking that he would atone for his awkwardness there, and sacrifice his life to God but God had disappointed him in this endeavor, for he had found not sacrifice, but satisfaction.

Brother Lawrence had learned that we can establish a sense of God's Presence by continually speaking with Him. He felt that it was a sad thing to end this conversation, and think instead of trifles and foolishness.

He believed that we ought to give ourselves up to God, in both worldly and spiritual matters, and seek our satisfaction only in fulfilling His will. He counseled faith during those dry spells in prayer.  He said that those were the times for us to strengthen our commitment and speed our spiritual advancement.

He told me that if it was my wish to serve God sincerely, I might come to him (Brother Lawrence) as often as I pleased, without any fear of being troublesome. 

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