Putting theory into practice

By Dave Henning / April 22, 2013

Two years after publishing his Eulogy of Brother Lawrence, the Abbe de Beaufort wrote a memoir in which he commented on Brother Lawrence’s life and spirituality.  The Abbe often quoted Brother Lawrence directly, since he immediately wrote down his accounts of their conversations.  In one such conversation, Brother Lawrence opined that God is perfectly capable of making Himself known to us:

“He (Jesus Christ) alone is capable of making Himself known to us as He is.  We search in reasoning and in the sciences, as in a poor copy, what we neglect to see in an excellent Original.  God paints His own portrait in the depths of our souls, . . . and we disdain to converse with our King, who is always present in us.”

In other words, head knowledge must translate into heart knowledge.  Or, as Jeff Manion notes in his book The Land Between regarding the Israelites in the wilderness- “They had known of God’s faithfulness in theory, but now they would be called upon to know through experience.”  More than 3 centuries earlier, Brother Lawrence had stated that loving God only by what books tell us about Him or through short-lived feelings of devotion is not enough.  As Brother Lawrence concluded: “In the way of God, thoughts count very little.  Love does it all.”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Lifting ourselves to God”


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Dave Henning

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