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? â€“ Brother Lawrence inÂ Maxims.
This summer inÂ Christian Devotional ClassicsÂ (Evangelical Seminary),Â I presented onÂ Brother Lawrence of the ResurrectionÂ (c. 1614 – 1691)Â and The Practice of the Presence of God â€“ The Best Rule of Holy Life. Considering the importance of this work to a number of people I have spoken with, future posts are already in concept — if this is a project of interest, please email me.
In the first part of this teaser post is a rough timeline of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection’s life. In the second part is a week of reflections on “What does The Practice of the Presence of God have to say to us today?”
Brother Lawrence of the ResurrectionÂ (c. 1614 – 1691)
Birth through Military Service
- Born Nicolas Herman in Herimenil, Lorraine.
- ~100 years after Martin Luther nails theÂ Ninety-Five ThesesÂ to the Wittenberg Church as an invitation to debate (October 31, 1517).
- Family without money for education, some â€œhome-schoolingâ€
- His Uncle Jean Majeur was a member of the Discaled Carmelites
- Some education by a parish priest (Lawrence)
- 30 Years War (1618-48): A young soldier (1629)
- Near fatal injury to his sciatic nerve (1635)
- Crippled and in chronic pain remainder of life.
- Gazing at a barren tree one winter while in the army, â€œsaw for the first time the majesty of Godâ€™s grace and the constancy of Godâ€™s providence. He imagined himself like the tree, waiting for the life that God would inevitably bring in seasonâ€ (1628).
- Sought direction after returning home with war injury (1635)
- A “footman who was clumsy and broke everything.”
- Drawn to a Carmelite monastery in Paris (1640)