brother lawrence…

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For many decades, I have been searching for a way to gain lasting peace. The pious practices given over the centuries seemed always so burdensome and tedious that I would often give up the effort.

None of it grew me closer to God. It only caused me to push Him further away.

And I remained in agitation, not peace.

A dear friend recommended reading Brother Lawrence who lived around 1610. His book, The Practice of the Presence of God, is a reflection of his writings and his simplicity of persepective.

He had been a soldier who, like Saint Ignatius, had incurred a near fatal injury during his service. And, like Saint Ignatius, it left him crippled for life.

Brother Lawrence’s life…

Brother Lawrence gained entrance to a monastery where he lived out the remaining years of his life.

The greatest accomplishment was his absolute peace. No matter what befell him, he remained in that Shalom, unshakeable in his Faith that God would only mete out what was due to him. His was an understanding of his actual relationship to God, his eternal Father. He saw himself as a poor sinner, one who could never reach perfection of his own accord.

So, like Saint Theresa of Lesieux, he began, from the moment he started his religious life, to always put God in his mind.

It began when he went to the required prayer and devotion times required during his duty as a monk. He pictured himself before God – as a child leaning on the breast of his Father, or as a sinner before the eternal Judge.

He took with him those thoughts during every moment of his life. When he was doing the dishes, helping out in the kitchen, cleaning the floors – even encounters with the other brothers – he kept God in the forefront of his mind.

He said that after 10 years of this practice, done, in his words, “imperfectly”, the task became an easy one. Whenever thoughts or distractions that were not on God came to mind, whatever desires or worldly enticements came his way, he immediately refocused on God.

To him, nothing else mattered. And to him, the events around him and to him were from the hand of God. So why worry? Wasn’t God in control?

Times today…

In today’s turbulent world, there are struggles to retain peace. There are ward, rumors of wars, attacks verbally, physically, and emotionally in ever form against each one of us. Overwhelmed with these constant bombardments, we begin to feel like not only do we not matter, life itself is too much to bear.

But what if you had that understanding that the One Who created you knew when, where, and why you were created? He knows and understands what you are capable of bearing, and will give you the Grace to endure what may come? Would you not, then, live in total peace?

How would you accomplish such a thing?

For one, you could not do it on your own. But the acceptance of everything that happens as coming from the Hand of your Creator for your own good is the start. It is our willing ness to comply to whatever He allows to be brought your way.

Would you then be at peace?

How do you really practice this?

When that cooperation to His Will is as complete in you as you are capable of giving to Him, He will make up your lack.

As Saint Theresa proclaimed, we are to become as little children, as our Lord asked of us. As a child, we depended on our parents. We trusted them and didn’t worry about our own survival. In an ideal family setting, we would be cared for – our meals, clothing, shelter provided. If someone came up against us, they would defend us. If we were hurt, they would comfort us.

That is how we are to look at God.

When we finally embrace that concept, the Shalom He alone can give will remain in us through all things.

Whether autistic or neurotypical, the simplicity of this concept works.

It becomes perfect acceptance.


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