We all have the desire to stay close to God throughout our day, and to follow St. Paul’s invocation to “pray always.” Sometimes, however, that is easier said than done.
I want to introduce you to Brother Lawrence. A saint from the 17th century, he devoted his life to the contemplation of God.
While we may not all be called away from the world to a life of contemplation, these six principles from his writings can help us bring that contemplation into our day-to-day, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Here are the principles, and some ideas to help you put them into practice.
Principle 1: “A little remembrance of Him from time to time.”
Set a reminder on your phone calendar 2-3 times during your work/school day to stop and remember God and all He is doing for you.
Principle 2: “A little adoration.”
Put on some praise and worship music while you get ready in the morning, and sing your heart out to Jesus in the shower. You could also make a practice of stopping by the church or local adoration chapel on your way home from school or work. No need to stay an hour if you don’t have time- even 15 minutes of worship can bring peace and rest to your soul.
Principle 3: “Pray for His grace.”
Develop a practice of prayer before responding to situations. This will not only improve your relationship with the Lord, but with other people, too!
Principle 4: “Offer him your sufferings.”
Stub your toe? Receive bad news? Forgot your lunch at home? Struggle with anxiety? Both small and big sufferings can be offered to Jesus, in union with His own suffering on the cross. Don’t be afraid to give it all to Him.
Principle 5: “Return Him thanks for the favors He has given you.”
Make an examen part of your nightly routine- focusing on all the good that God has given to you and where He met you throughout the day. End with giving Him thanks for it all.
Principle 6: “Console yourself with Him the oftenest you can.”
When you are hurt or upset, try stopping yourself before reaching out to someone else, and take 5 minutes to talk to God first, seeking His love and His friendship.
Put these six principles into daily practice and watch your growth in union with God!
It will be of great importance if you can leave the care of your affairs to, and spend the remainder of your life only in worshipping God. He requires no great matters of us; a little remembrance of Him from time to time, a little adoration: sometimes to pray for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, and sometimes to return Him thanks for the favors He has given you, and still gives you in the midst of your troubles, and to console yourself with Him the oftenest you can.
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God.
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