As the Foreword to The Practice of the Presence of God indicates, the book is not by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1611-1691). Rather, it is a compilation by a teacher of the church in Brother Lawrence’s day. The compilation consists of Lawrence’s letters and spiritual maxims as well as conversations with him.
The writer of the Introduction, Hal M. Helms, cites the late Dean Willard Sperry of Harvard in describing Brother Lawrence’s life and remembered words as exemplary of “the simplicity that is in Christ”. In order to achieve this simplicity we must have the peace of God, which Dean Sperry stated we attain “by a rigorous ordering of our desires rather than by their ruthless negation.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace, our ultimate desire must be God.
One notable trait of Brother Lawrence was his candor, his blunt sincerity. Although he disliked his kitchen duties, he made peace with his aversion to these tasks, which enabled him to do his work for the love of God:
“The most excellent method . . . of going to God is that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, and (as far as we are able) purely for the love of God.”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Daily Living in God’s Grace”