The Practice of the Presence of God is a book of collected teachings of Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century Carmelite monk. Compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort. The compilation includes letters, as well as records of his conversations kept by Brother Lawrence's interlocutors. The basic theme of the book is the development of an awareness of the presence of God. This classic has been translated and published many times since Nicholas Herman, known as Brother Lawrence, first penned his letters and conversations in the 17th century. His view of "practicing the presence of God" could be summed up with his statement: "The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament." The simplicity, yet the profoundness of being so aware of God, His love and His delight, is antithetical to the busyness of ministry and the need to perform well for God and people. Brother Lawrence's advice was "that the most excellent method he had found of going to God was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of God." The compilation of his reflections and advice should be read periodically to remind us of the spiritual discipline of "practicing the presence of God" in our daily lives.
About the Author
Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end." He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day. First published in French in 1692, The Practice of the Presence of God is a classic for everyone who has a heart that is hungry for more of God - whose "soul thirsts for God, for the living God". Amid his pots and pans, the author, Brother Lawrence, became so noted for his serenity and joy while he worked at the most menial kitchen tasks that cardinals and theologians came to see him to learn his secret. Even the pope of his day is said to have visited him. For three centuries the writings of Brother Lawrence have taught Christians that God is as present in the kitchen as in the cathedral and as accessible in the living room as He is around the Lord's table. This simple, yet profound teaching will empower you to seek the joy of God's presence in the midst of every moment and circumstance.