Brother Lawrence’s Third Letter

An excerpt from Brother Lawrence’s Third Letter:

A little lifting up of the heart suffices. A little remembrance of God, one act of inward worship, though upon a march, and a sword in hand, are prayers, which however short, are nevertheless very acceptable to God; and far from lessening a soldier’s courage in occassions of danger, they best serve to fortify it.”

It is an easy mistake to make, I suppose, to consider that one who prays more effusively, attends Mass more regularly, confesses with greater frequency, blogs more  spiritually …. may actually be closer to or have a ‘better’ developed relationship with God.

This is not necessarily, if ever, the case.

Sometimes people like to make great shows of their piety, of their devoutness, of their knowledge (I’ve been guilty of this as much as anyone – and I have very little of the latter) but it doesn’t actually make a person more holy….no,  it merely makes a person more prideful and deluded than they might otherwise have been.

Simple prayer is all that is required, simple prayers of the heart that reach up to God and take the hand that he offers. Father and child, walking through life together. That’s all that it’s about really. Great big prayers aren’t necessary for that, though I would say they may well assist in helping us to mature spiritually, they are not foundational to our spiritual wellbeing.

A little (and I would say, continual) lifting up of the heart suffices.

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4 Responses to Brother Lawrence’s Third Letter

  1. What a lovely post, Deb. I’m catching up on my reading since I’ve been “grounded” by this vertigo. I can’t believe so few comments here. I find this message very encouraging. I have often found myself guilty when “succeeding” in frequent Mass attendance, confession, extended prayer times, of thinking in my heart of hearts that somehow my efforts will win me holiness. Not that effort isn’t necessary. But self-sufficiency is dangerous. It’s not up to me. I can’t save myself. I guess the right balance is what it’s all about… and pleading with Jesus to guide me in where HE wants my efforts every day. Do you know what I mean? It’s hard to put this into words and not give the impression that frequent sacraments are indeed really important.

  2. ukok says:

    Rosemary,

    I was a little surprised that no one else responded to this but I think people are reading these more ‘spiritual’ posts, they just aren’t as inclined to comment on them as the family stuff or me banging on about my problems!

    Thank you for commenting, and taking the time to read this through and really consider it though (((hug))).

    I think I do appreciate what you mean in your comment. For while I *know* that nothing I can do will save my soul, my humanity is such that it fools me into thinking that ‘if only I prayed more’….’if only I attended mass with greater frequency’….that would stand a far better chance of getting into heaven.

    Of course, the grace that the Lord may bestow upon me by my praying more or attending Mass more regularly, would doubtlessly be beneficial to my soul, but doing so, in itself, isn’t going to save me 🙂

  3. Rosemary says:

    Yeah. We must do our part. We do need to frequent the sacraments and pray, etc. I guess for me it’s my attitude I have to watch.

  4. ukok says:

    oh, you and me both my friend!

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