Thursday, October 11, 2007
In life, we love rewards. In fact, most everything we do is because we believe we will receive some kind of reward for it. It could be the reward of money, or prestige, or acceptance. But we need to learn how to live our lives without this kind of thinking. Our motivation should be to serve God and seek to please God.
In part 3 of the life of Brother Lawrence, we see that as he was able to "practice the presence" of God in his life, it caused him to have a "gentle disposition, complete honesty, and the most charitable heart in the world...it won him the esteem and the good will of everyone who saw him." (p. 84) How interesting to see that a man that didn't seek the esteem of others, got it because of his humility and charity.
This attitude also led Brother Lawrence to do things in private, not wanting to draw attention to himself. He was motivated to live and work not for worldly reward, but simply for the reward of knowing he was doing what God expected him to do. This is a great example and challenge to us, to learn how to first know what God expects of us, and then do it without fanfare or payment.
Through this process of being aware of God's presence, Brother Lawrence became one who people loved to listen to. "The sweetness that accompanied his words so inspired those who listened that they came away penetrated with the love of God, burning with the desire to put the great truths he had just taught them into practice" (p. 85).
Even though he was reluctant to speak, there were times when he was asked to share his thoughts. Through this, he impressed many. "An illustrious bishop of France, who had had several interviews with him, said that God spoke directly to Brother Lawrence, revealing His divine mysteries to him because of the greatness and the purity of his love for Him" (p. 86).
But this kind of knowledge and understanding of God's mysteries are available to us all. As Brother Lawrence, himself said: "God alone is capable of making Himself known as He really is; we search in reasoning and in the sciences, as in a poor copy, for what we neglect to see in an excellent original. God Himself paints Himself in the depths of our soul" (p. 87).
Let us take the time, starting today, to seek God out, and let God share His mysteries and revelation with us. Tell me what you think (firstname.lastname@example.org)