Book a Day: The Practice of the Presence of God

THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GODThis book, as you can probably tell by its title, is deeply religious. (Although some people would argue with that word, religious, we’re going to stick with it.) If you have no interest in Christianity, it probably won’t interest you, however, it is a quick read that can inspire peace, devotion, and discipline, even in unlikely people. It is unapologetically Christian, as well as historical.

This little book is not a novel. It is a compilation put together by the author’s friend(-slash-interviewer), which includes a few interviews, several letters, and some personal writings. Brother Lawrence was a monk in 1600s Paris. He was, in all other aspects, just a normal guy who didn’t have any sort of claim to fame. His quite wisdom was noticed by the higher ups in the church, however, and they sent someone along to interview him. He gave four short interviews, which would become the beginning of a small published work which would inspire Christians around the world for hundreds of years.

He was a cook in the monastery, and his teaching is all centered on “practicing the presence of God,” or living life as a continual prayer or communion with God. He had learned (and practiced long and hard) to do every little thing in every day for the love of God. That’s pretty much the whole thing in a nutshell.

And it’s not a very big nutshell. If you are a Christian, it is an essential read, and could be an occasional re-read throughout your life. The concise and simple writing just mean that the message is straightforward and that each sentence has tremendous gravity. You have to read it with a clear mind and an open heart, reading slowly and meditatively.

I will be re-reading it again sometime.

(NOTE: I am aware that this book took not one, but three days. I am going to count it as two, though, because I was at a reading on the third night. Which means I am averaging about one book per day and a half.)

 

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