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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)

 


"But when God finds an open and faithful soul, He pours His graces into it plentifully. There they flow like a once- blocked river which finds a passage, and spreads itself with abundance."

Fourth Letter from Brother Lawrence

In this letter I have taken the opportunity to communicate to you the thoughts of one of our brothers in the monastery.

This brother has tried, for the past forty years, to be always with God, and to do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing which may displease Him.

He is now so accustomed to that Divine presence, that he receives from it continual blessings upon all occasions. For about thirty years, his soul has been filled with joys so continual, and sometimes so great, that he is forced to use means to moderate them, and to hinder their outward appearance.

If he is a little too much absent from that Divine presence, God presently makes Himself to recall him. This often happens when he is most engaged in his outward business. 

He answers faithfully to these inward drawings, either by an elevation of his heart towards God, or by a meek and fond regard to Him, or by such words as love forms upon these occasions. For instance, he may say, "My God, here I am all devoted to You. Lord, make me according to Your heart." And then it seems to him that this God of love, satisfied with such few words, reposes again, and rests in the depth and center of his soul. 

The experience of these things gives him such an assurance that God is always in the depth or bottom of our souls, and renders him incapable of doubting it.

God, he says, has infinite treasure to bestow. We often hinder Him, and stop the current of His graces. But when God finds an open and faithful soul, He pours His graces into it plentifully. There they flow like a once-blocked river, which finds a passage, and spreads itself with abundance.

Yes, we often stop up this river, by the little value we set upon it. But let us stop it no more. Let us enter into ourselves and break down the bank which hinders it. Let us make way for grace; let us redeem the lost time.

I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses: there is no room for delay. I believe you have taken such good measures that you will not be troubled. I commend you for it, it is the one necessary thing. 

We must, however, always work at it, because not to advance, in the spiritual life, is to go back. However, those who have the gale of the Spirit go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is tossed with winds and storms, let us awaken the Lord, and He will quickly calm the sea.

I have taken the liberty to offer you these thoughts, that you may compare them with your own.  Let us both recall our first devotions. I will pray for you; do you please pray for me, who am yours in our Lord.

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