Have you met Brother Lawrence?
In a discussion I was having with some men earlier this week about the biblical significance of work I was reintroduced to Brother Lawrence. While I had known about this soldier who became a monk, I had forgotten about the joy he took in doing the most menial tasks.
In 2015 on the 324th anniversary of Brother Lawrence’s passing, Jesse Carey an editor at RELEVANT penned these words as a tribute to a man who by the way he lived his life exemplified how we can grow closer to our creator.
After a dramatic religious conversion, young soldier Nicholas Herman decided to devote his life to following God and learning more about Christ. He joined a monastery and took the name Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. There, he spent the rest of his life working in a kitchen and repairing his brothers’ sandals. But during his decades of doing seemingly menial jobs, Brother Lawrence discovered a profound truth about having a relationship with God: Experiencing His presence can—and should—happen everywhere.
Though during his life, much of his time was spent serving others, the wisdom Brother Lawrence gleaned from praying throughout each day has been inspiring Christians for more than 300 years. His letters and discussions with peers were later compiled into the now classic book The Practice of the Presence of God.
Brother Lawrence died today (Feb. 12) 324 years ago, but his teachings about prayer are just as relevant today as they were back then.
Here are several quotes that can help re-inspire how you practice faith.
ON GOD’S NEARNESS
You need not cry very loud: He is nearer to us than we think.
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
We ought to propose to ourselves to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.
ON CONSTANT PRAYER
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.
I did not pray for any relief, but I prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility and love.