Worth Reading

The Practice of The Presence of God

"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.” It's gems like this that have put The Practice of The Presence of God on the A-List of spritual classics since 1700 and kept it there. It's a brief book centered on the insights and life of Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite, born to peasants, wounded in war and captured, converted to the love of God while simply gazing at a tree in the dead of winter and coming to trust that as God would providentially bring leaves to the barren tree in the spring so would God also bring new life into his dead soul.

He entered a Carmelite monastery in Paris as kitchen help. In time people came to see him--the dishwasher!--for spiritual advice because his peace was so profound and so evident. The ways to peace are summed up in the title of the book. Because the book is brief, it's easy to get through. Those yearning for peace, however, won't rush to finish the book but, from the first page, will try to take in truth that will last, and transform, a lifetime. The opening quote above won't wear out. Neither will this conviction, born in the midst of real hardship, that I offer as a final inducement to make this book one we all should read: “The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them - through faith or unbelief - that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good."