Thursday, July 30, 2009

Br Lawrence of the Resurrection, OCD - Spiritual maxims and prayers

Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in French Lorraine. He was not a learned man and served as a footman and a soldier before entering the Discalced Carmelites as a lay brother in 1666. The prayer of Br Lawrence was constant and simple. He found his converse with God as easily in his work among the pots and pans as in the chapel. He would console himself with some thoughts such as: "Let what may come of it, however many be the days remaining to me, i will do all things for the love of God." Thus in forgetting self he had in truth found God. He died in 1691 in Paris.

"O Lord, the sense of Thy love well-nigh overwhelms me. If it be Thy will.bestow these many tokens of Thy loving-kindness on those who know Thee not, to draw them to Thy service; for me it is enough to have the riches that faith brings in the knowledge of Thee. Yet forasmuch as I must not reject the favours of Thy bounteous Hand, accept my praises, Lord. And, I entreat, receive again these gifts, which Thou hast granted; for, O Lord, enlarge the chambers of my heart that I may find room for Thy love. Sustain me by Thy power, lest the fire of Thy love consume, me.
Lord, Thou knowest that it is not Thy gifts I seek, but Thee Thyself, and my heart will know no rest, till it has found Thee. O loving-Kindness so old and still so new, I have been too late of loving Thee."
"My God, I believe You are really present in my heart and see all that passes and will pass within me and in all creatures. What can I fear when I am with You? Do with me as You please, for I wish nothing but Yourself and to be all Yours."

"Your treasure, my God is like an infinite ocean, yet a little wave of feeling, passing with the moment, contents us. Blind as we are, we hinder you and stop the current of your graces. But when you find a soul permeated with a living faith, you pour your graces plenteously into it; they flow into the soul like a torrent, which after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, has found a passage, and spread its pent-up flood with great impetuosity. O Lord, grant that I may make it my only business to preserve always in your holy presence, keeping myself there in a simple attention and a most loving a silent and secret conversation of my soul with you. O Lord, I contemplate you as my Father, present in my heart; and there I adore you...keeping my mind in your holy presence and calling it back every time I surprise it wandering in distraction."

From Br Lawrence of the Resurrection: "Practice of the presence of God and Spiritual Maxims", selected from 'Drink of the Stream'