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 From February 2015 Magnificat

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

    His spirituality has come down through letters he wrote and notes of conversations, which were compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort and first published shortly after Brother Lawrence’s death.  Now known as ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’, the book is a small gem of a spiritual classic.

    Whether Brother Lawrence was turning a frying cake, picking up a straw from the ground, or washing dishes, he “resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions.” He wrote:

Lord of all pots and pans and things

Make me a saint by getting meals

And washing up the plates!

    Let’s not forget God is also Lord of being stuck in commuter traffic, answering emails, and shopping for office supplies.  Instead of fighting against our daily chores, whatever our station, Brother Lawrence invites us to lose ourselves in Christ: “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love….Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

    We sometimes erroneously think that the contemplative life can take place only in silence and solitude.  These words of Brother Lawrence are as relevant to our multi-tasking times as they were almost four hundred years ago: “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”

Heather King

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It Is Midday

It is midday,I see the church
open. I must enter.
Mother of Jesus Christ, I do
not come to pray.
I have nothing to ask
and nothing to offer.
I come only, Mother, to look at
To look at you, to cry for joy,
to know that I am your son
and that you are there. Only
for a moment while everything
stops. Midday!
To be yours, Mary in this
place where you are.
Saying nothing, but looking at
you and letting my heart sing
in its own language….
because it is midday, because
we are here today, because
you are always there, simply
because you are Mary, simply
because you exist, Mother of
Jesus, be thanked.

Jean-Pierre Prevost


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February 2015

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