Brother Lawrence’s Seventh Letter

Excerpts from the Letter of Brother Lawrence’s Seventh Letter:

” It is not necessary for being with God to be always at church: we may make oratory of our heart wherein to retire from time to time to converse with Him in meekness, humility and love. Everyone is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less. Let us begin then.”

Those who believe, can receive.

In the laundry washing, the toilet bowl cleaning, even in the task of grocery shopping with our fractious children, God is waiting to commune with us. Of course, there is a time for personal prayer devotions, for a quiet and meditative time with God, for the reading of Scripture or the daily Mass readings. But God does not reserve His grace for such times. He does not reserve Himself for Sundays.

God waits to commune with us in every moment of our every day. He’s not ding donging any doorbells, not ringing the phone off the hook, He waits for us to come to Him, even in the small things. There doesn’t have to be a disaster or family catastrophe before we call out His name or petition His assistance. He’s waiting to meet us in the window cleaning as much as he is when we commend our souls to His care before we close our eyes to sleep.

Prayer doesn’t have to be particularly structured although the prayers of the Church are indeed beautiful and may assist us in expressing what we mortals ordinarily lack the vocabulary to express.

We worry, perhaps uneccessarily so, that we don’t ‘pray well’ or ‘as much as we should’, but if our lives become a prayer, then we don’t have to set aside a specific ‘prayer’ time unless we find that in someway beneficial. I myself sometimes forget that just as a parent is attentive to their child’s voice even when that child’s vocabulary is limited, so too is the Father attentive to our words and hearts type prayers. The important thing isn’t so much in the way we pray, its that we bother to take the time to raise our hearts and minds to God at all.

“Accustom yourself, then, by degrees thus to worship Him, to beg His grace, to offer Him your heart from time to time in the midst of your business, even every moment, if you can”.

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7 Responses to Brother Lawrence’s Seventh Letter

  1. Maryellen says:

    Well said, Deborah. I think that’s what St. Paul meant when he said “pray always”. Our own traditional Catholic prayers are so beautiful, I use them all the time. Can there be a better prayer than the one Jesus taught us? Anyone who feels they don’t pray well, has a treasury of prayers from our friends, the Saints.

    God’s Grace is always upon us, and He loves for us to lift our hearts to Him throughout the day, frequently make the Sign of the Cross thoughtfully, and utter a simple phrase such as “Jesus, I trust in You”.

    Thank you, for this inspiring and encouraging post.

  2. Terry says:

    Deb – I’m so pleased you are writing about Brother Lawrence – his teaching is the secret of sanctity.

  3. ukok says:

    Maryellen, i thoroughly agree with you about the prayers of the Church. I know that I have prayed the Our Father since I was a little girl and after almost 40 years I haven’t scraped the surface if understanding the depth of each petition!

    Terry, it’s always a pleasure to now you are reading here, that you are enjoying what you are reading here is a definate bonus!

  4. Gabrielle says:

    “Oratory of our heart”. That’s such a beautiful phrase, and truth. Thanks for this, Deb.

  5. ukok says:

    Gabrielle,

    your posts always give me so much to contemplate, it is such a compliment when you have been ‘touched’ by something you have read here 🙂

  6. Mary says:

    Thank you for your message. I am going through a difficult time spiritually and I found it so comforting.

  7. ukok says:

    Mary, I’m sorry to learn that you are experiencing difficulties spiritually, if it’s any consolation, it’s not unusual for me to be wandering through my own spiritual wilderness a lot o the time. Thanks so much for letting me know that you found this post comforting.

    I will pray for you.

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