That when an occasion of practising some virtue offered, he addressed himself to God, saying, 'Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me,' and then he received strength more than sufficient.And I say, 'Amen!'
That when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to God, 'I shall never do otherwise if you leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.' That after this he gave himself no uneasiness about it.
Thanks to Laura at Lay Anglicana for calling to mind the wonderful little book. I still have my yellowed paperback which I bought many years ago, which I've read a good many times, and which I will now read again, since Laura's mention in her latest post on a book on private devotion which changed her life.
Brother Lawrence's book changed my life. I learned from him to keep in mind that God is always present and available and to stop beating myself because I don’t have a regular quiet time set aside. Most days, I pray the short form of individual 'Morning Prayer' and 'Evening Prayer' from The Book of Common Prayer, read the Lectionary readings of the day, and offer prayers of petition and thanksgiving. Some days I forget even the Lectionary.
I turn to God fairly often during the day, most frequently to ask for help, but also to give thanks. And sometimes, I just delight in God's presence quietly for brief periods. Those are my non-scheduled quiet times. You see why Brother Lawrence's words give me such comfort, even though the good monk probably spent more scheduled quiet time with God than I do.
Another quote from the book:
That with him the set times of prayer were not different from other times, that he retired to pray, according to the directions of his superior, but that he did not want such retirement, nor ask for it, because his greatest business did not divert him from God.I can't say an honest 'Amen' to those words, because I'm all too often diverted from God by busyness and other matters. As I said, I'm no Brother Lawrence, simply a grateful disciple.