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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)


"I simply wanted to become wholly God's."

First Letter from Brother Lawrence

Since you have asked me to communicate the method by which I arrived at a sense of God's Presence, I must tell you. However, I can do it only upon the terms that you show my letter to nobody. The account I can give you is:

Having found in many books many different methods of going to God, and complex practices of the spiritual life, I was puzzled. For I simply wanted to become wholly God's.

I chose to renounce, for the love of God, everything that was not God; and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world. I worshipped Him as often as I could, keeping my mind in His holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found my mind wandering from Him.

I did not find this exercise easy, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred. I made it my business, all day long. 

At all times every hour, every minute, even in the height of my activity I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of God.

Such has been my common practice ever since I began. And though I have done it very imperfectly, I have found great benefits by it. These benefits, I well know, are due to the mere mercy and goodness of God, because we can do nothing without Him, and I still less than any.

May all things praise Him. Amen.

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