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The Practice of the Presence of God – SECOND CONVERSATION


He’s always been guided by love, without selfish motives; and having resolved to put the love of God at the center of all his actions, he’s found reasons to be happy with his ways. He was happy when he could pick up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him alone, not even His gifts.

There was an inalienable belief in his mind that he would be damned, and no amount of evidence would convince him otherwise. However, he had reasoned with himself about it: I am doing this only for the love of GOD. I’ve tried to do everything for His sake; whether I’m saved or lost, I’ll keep doing everything for Him.

At least I can say that until death I’ll have done everything I can to love Him. This mental trouble had lasted for four years, during which he had suffered a lot. At last, he realized that his trouble came from a lack of faith. His life since then has been full of joy and perfect freedom. He had placed his sins between him and God, as if to acknowledge that he didn’t deserve His favors, but that GOD gave them to him in abundance anyway.

We must at first apply ourselves to GOD with diligence in order to seek His counsel continually and refer everything we do to Him; but after a little while, we’ll find His love will drive us to it without any trouble.

After the pleasant days he’d had, he foresaw his turn of suffering. Yet he wasn’t upset about it, knowing very well that even if he couldn’t do anything himself, GOD would provide him with the strength to endure it.

That when he saw an opportunity to practice virtue, he addressed himself to GOD, saying: “LORD, I cannot do this without Your help: and that then he received more than sufficient strength to accomplish his goal.”.

So when he failed at his duty, he confessed to GOD, I won’t do otherwise, if You leave me to my own devices; it’s You who must stop me from falling, and put things right. He didn’t have any more anxiety about it after that.

We should approach GOD in the simplest way, saying what we need to say to Him frankly and plainly, and praying for His assistance with everything that happens in our lives. God had always granted his request, he’d seen it many times.

It wasn’t pleasant to be sent to Burgundy to buy wine for the society, because he didn’t know where to go and because he was lame and couldn’t get around the boat without rolling over the casks. Nevertheless, he gave himself no trouble about it, not even about the wine purchase. He told God it was the Lord’s business he was about, and that later he found it very well handled. He’d been sent into Auvergne a year ago for the same thing; he couldn’t recall how it turned out, but it worked fine.

Also, in his business in the kitchen (which he naturally resented), he had become accustomed to doing everything for the love of GOD, and to always pray for His grace to do his work well during fifteen years working there.

His satisfaction with the post he is now in was great, but he was just as ready to quit that as he was in the post he was before, since he always put GOD first in everything he did.

The set times of prayer with him weren’t any different than others; he retired to pray as directed by his superior, but did not want or ask for it because his greatest business didn’t stray from GOD.

Having understood his obligation to love GOD in all he did, and trying to do so, he did not need a director to advise him, but rather a Confessor to absolve him. I found that he was clearly aware of his faults, but that he didn’t let them discourage him; that he confessed them to God but did not ask Him to forgive him. As soon as he was done, he returned to his usual love and adoration.

He had consulted nobody, but knowing only by faith that GOD was present, he settled for doing all his actions with a desire to please Him, no matter what came of it.

We ought to reject those useless thoughts as soon as we see their impertinence to the matter at hand, or to our salvation; and return to our communion with GOD.

At the beginning he was often tempted by wandering thoughts and would fall back into them after rejecting them. He couldn’t regulate his devotion the way some do. Even so, he had meditated a little, but afterwards he lost sight of it in a way he couldn’t explain.

That all bodily mortifications and other exercises are pointless except for the purpose of getting to GOD through love; that he considered it carefully, and it was the easiest way to come to Him through an all-out act of love, and to do everything for His sake.

He said that there was a big difference between acts of the will and those of the understanding: that the first had comparatively little worth, but the other had a lot. Our only business is to love and delight ourselves in God.

It’s true that all mortifications, if they weren’t motivated by God’s love, wouldn’t work. That we should expect the forgiveness of our sins from the Blood of JESUS CHRIST as long as we love Him with all our hearts. It seems GOD has granted the greatest favors to the worst sinners, as more evidence of his mercy.

He felt that even the greatest pain or pleasure of this world couldn’t compare to what he had experienced in a spiritual state: so that he was not careful about anything, feared nothing, and wished only one thing of GOD, that he might not offend Him.

Eventually, he lost all scruples, for if I fail in my duty, I admit it readily, saying, “That’s the way I am; I won’t do anything else on my own.” But if I succeed, I thank GOD, acknowledging He gave me the strength.


The Practice of The Presence Of God: Study Journal with Spiritual Maxims Kindle Edition

3 in 1 – 30 days Study Journal – the actual book of Brother Lawrence, the Practice of the Presence of God and the Spiritual Maxims



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