Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Life of Brother Lawrence- Part 1

Life is always a challenge. In fact, if we go into it thinking it will be easy, we will get overwhelmed. And yet, in the midst of this challenge, God walks with us, sometimes even carrying us. I have been blogging over these past several weeks on the book "The Practice of the Presence of God," by Brother Lawrence. As we come to the end of the book, there is a section on the life of Brother Lawrence. Over my next couple of blogs, I would like to highlight some aspects of Brother Lawrence's life that might help us in our own lives.
Joseph de Beaufort, a dear friend of Brother Lawrence, is the one who wrote and published this section of the book. de Beaufort talks about how God has in the past, and still does in the present, raise up those who are saints of the faith. These saints are the ones who guard up the Spirit in themselves, and seek to make them live in others.
Brother Lawrence was such a saint. Brother Lawrence revered God, and sought to be an example of how to faithfully practice the virtues of the faith. Brother Lawrence was taught to love the Lord by his parents at an early age. His parents also made sure that his education was consistent with the Gospel. Throughout his life, Brother Lawrence saw the goodness and mercy of God. Even when he was taken as a prisoner of the German troops (while He was in the armed service), and treated as a spy, and threatened to be hanged, he told them that he could not be a spy since he would never do anything that would "give him a bad conscience," and that death didn't frighten him.
After being injured, he was forced to retire and return home. He then resolved to "give himself wholly to God and to repair his past conduct...through sentiments of true devotion." He believed that God helped him to not perceive the pleasures of the world, but rather to be in love with heavenly things. He struggled with the corruption of the world and man's instability and infidelity. He decided to make a firm resolution to walk in the path of Jesus Christ.
By making this resolution, he was freed from the difficulties that the devil and the world would normally put in the path of those who wished to give their lives to the Lord. He had a strong determination to follow God, which helped to wash away the difficulties of life, as if by a miracle. It was by his meditating on the promises of the Lord that helped him to be a changed man, and give him the humility he desired to glory in the cross of Christ, and not the world.