Wednesday, October 15, 2008

18. Maxims of Brother Lawrence......( afnta, afnta-questforallah, Allah, God, love for God, quest)

I have already mentioned the importance of love, faith and hope in the spiritual journey of Brother Lawrence. He declares that God is in him (he does not go so far as to say that He is in everybody and everything, as many other mystics have said, or I might have missed it). In his own words:”…makes him so certain that God is in the depth of his soul, that he has no doubt about it…”

Whenever he needed help, he would ask God for help. In his own words:”…he receives constant help in every situation. "…for God never fails to come to our aid", as he often experienced. He had recently been asked to go to Burgandy to get the wine supply, a painful task for him. Not only did he lack skill in these matters, but his leg was crippled and he could only get about on the boat by dragging himself over the barrels. Yet he did not worry …….He told God "it was His problem.”

God liked his conservation with Him. So much so that if he missed talking to God, He will remind him! Here is what he says; "If occasionally he becomes too forgetful of this divine presence, God makes Himself known immediately in his soul to call him back to Himself…”. "…inner movements so charming and delightful that I am embarrassed to talk about them, call me immediately back to Him.”

Brother Lawrence reminds us that such close companionship with God requires extreme detachment. He states:”….Your heart must be empty of everything because God desires to possess it exclusively.” He has to "empty it of everything other than Himself”
If suffering is too much for you to bear. Be steadfast. Help will eventually come. "…If you do not give up, and that He will give you, all at once, what He held off giving for years.”

Wandering of thoughts is a problem that everybody faces. The saint also warns us;"….thoughts spoil everything; we must be careful to reject them as soon as we notice them…” In a letter to a nun he offers a solution; ” An easy way to keep the mind from wandering during the time of mental prayer is to keep it as still as possible----not to let it take flight-----during the day…”

If you are a true seeker of God and love Him, you need not worry, God Himself will help you .In his words,”…..God gives the necessary light to those who have the true desire to be with Him….”

"Neither finesse nor learning is required to approach God, only a heart resolved to devote itself exclusively to Him, and to love Him alone”

"…that he thought neither of death, nor of his sins, nor of paradise, nor of hell, but only of doing little things for the love of God, since he was not capable of doing great things.”

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