Brother Lawrence discusses the simplicity of asking God for what we need. “We need only to recognize him present within us, to speak with him at every moment, and to ask for his help, so that we will know his will in perplexing events, and will be able to carry out those things we clearly see he asks of us, offering them to him before doing them, and thanking him afterward for completing them.” Part of a relationship is learning to
Brother Lawrence poses a simple precept for developing an on-going conversation with God. “What matters is renouncing once and for all everything that we recognize does not lead to God, in order to become accustomed to a continual conversation with him, without mystery or finesse.” I find it helpful to picture the Christian journey as a gate and a path. Walk through the gate with a total surrender to God. Then get to know the path of cultivating God’s presence with
Brother Lawrence said that “we settle for penances and private devotions, leaving aside love, our end. Our works prove this, and that is why we see so little solid virtue. Neither finesse nor learning is required to approach God, only a heart resolved to devote itself exclusively to him, and to love him alone.” How many Christians develop spiritual habits, read Christian books, follow spiritual leaders, attend worship services, and use prayer guides, but they wonder why they’re not progressing spiritually?
Brother Lawrence said that “in the beginning we must faithfully act and renounce ourselves; and after that come only unspeakable delights. In times of difficulty we have no recourse but to Jesus Christ, to ask him for his grace that makes everything easy.” At the start of our Christian journey, after making a total surrender to God, we set into place new life patterns – living faithfully before God and others, praying in simple faith, wrestling against sins, renouncing our self-centered
Brother Lawrence said that whenever he tried to “communicate with anyone concerning the state of his soul, he came out of it feeling more perplexed.” Yet whenever he would die to himself and “lose himself for the love of God, he feared nothing.” As he said, “Total surrender to God is the sure way, along which there is always light to guide us.” Have you ever gone to someone for advice and left feeling worse than before? That was Brother Lawrence’s experience.