Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"To Touch Him, As It Were, By Stealth"

Of Necessary Practices For Attaining The Spiritual Life (from The Spiritual Maxims of Brother Lawrence)

1. That practice which is alike the most holy, the most general, and the most needful in the spiritual life is the practice of the Presence of GOD. It is the schooling of the Soul to find its joy in His Divine Companionship. Holding with Him at all times and at every moment humble and loving converse, without set rule or stated method, in all time of our temptation and tribulation, in all time of our dryness of Soul and disrelish of GOD. Yes and even when we fall into unfaithfulness and actual sin.

2. We should apply ourselves unceasingly to this one end, to so rule all our actions that they be little acts of communion with GOD; but they must not be studied, they must come naturally, from the purity and simplicity of the heart.

3. We must do all things thoughtfully and soberly, without impetuosity or precipitancy, which denotes a mind undisciplined. We must go about our labors quietly, calmly, and lovingly, entreating Him to prosper the works of our hands. By thus keeping heart and mind fixed on GOD, we shall bruise the head of the evil one, and beat down his weapons to the ground.

4. When we are busied, or meditating on spiritual things, even in our time of set devotion, whilst our voice is rising in prayer, we ought to cease for one brief moment. Or as often as we can, to worship GOD in the depth of our being, to taste Him though it be in passing, to touch Him as it were by stealth. Since you cannot but know that GOD is with you in all you undertake, that He is at the very depth and center of your Soul. Why should you not thus pause an instant from time to time in your business, and even in the act of prayer, to worship Him within your Soul?

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