BobbyShirley.com

Living Fully Satisfied

Retired

I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth of centre of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing; but the least turning from Him is insupportable.

Brother Lawrence
The Practice of the Presence of God

This is probably one of the single most straight-forward quotes from Brother Lawrence. He was a man of single focus. He wanted to remain in constant contact and communication with God.

From the Wikipedia article about him:

He was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. In his Maxims, Lawrence writes, “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?” Some believe Brother Lawrence meditated on the love of God so much, it made him “levitate.”

For Brother Lawrence, “common business,” no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God’s love. The sacredness or worldly status of a task mattered less than motivation behind it. “Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

Brother Lawrence felt having a proper heart about tasks made every detail of his life possess surpassing value. “I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world.” Brother Lawrence felt that he cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world alongside God. One of his most famous sayings refers to his kitchen:

“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 before the Blessed Sacrament.”

What he learned on his journey is that God closely involved in every aspect of our lives. Not only is He close, He wants to be close. He cares.

Yep, God actually cares about what you do all day. He doesn’t care about what you do at church or meetings and then as soon as those are over turn His back on you until next Sunday. No, He actually cares about your everyday. He cares about your boring days. He cares about your busy-ness. Just rest in the absolute, 100% truth that He cares.

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2 Comments

  1. Amy

    This blesses me on so many levels. In my daily tasks I feel Him so close. He’s constantly there. That wasn’t always the case though. I had to set my mind on Him always. Every time I did He answered. I love that about Him

    • bobbyshirley

      Awesome! I’ve said to many people “It’s not an absence issue, it’s an awareness issue!”. When we simply recognize His presence, everything changes. It’s simple yet so profound.

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