Brother Lawrence was a 17th-century monk, and ordinary kitchen worker who became a legend in France for his simple, serene faith joyfully lived out in God’s presence amidst the pots and pans of a monastery kitchen. He was a big, awkward, and uneducated fellow who had a propensity for breaking everything. “He didn’t have a business head, he was lame, he could not walk normally on board the wine boat, so he had to roll himself over the casks.” This delightfully humble soul became one of the most beloved writers in history with this book, The Practice of the Presence of God. After his death, a few of his letters were made public and became what has long been considered a spiritual classic.
His conversion happened one winter when he was eighteen. He saw a tree stripped of its leaves and thought to himself,
“Before long, the leaves will return. Renewed, the tree will bear flowers and fruit, too. God causes all of this!’”
This simple but profound awakening to God’s love and presence in all of creation set Brother Lawrence free and started a fire inside him that has warmed the whole world for generations.
“Actually, I began to live as if He and I were the only ones alive in the world…I would be glad even to pick up a straw from the ground, if I could do it to show my love to God…The king, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me. With love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, and gives me the key to His treasures.”
And this from The Hidden Life Awakened:
In prayerful silence, we quiet our minds in order to focus our awareness on the still, small voice of God that is always calling to us through the cacophony of the world’s noise. This attention and awareness is the power that is hidden within the present moment. It is the power of God’s presence with us now, in every moment, in every created thing that surrounds us with its marvels.