Daily Riches: A Silent Conversation of the Soul with God (Brother Lawrence, Pete Scazzero)

“God invites us to practice the presence of people within an awareness of His presence. That is no small task, especially at this time of year.
How then can we do this? By intentionally practicing His presence first. No greater teacher can offer us insight on how to do this better than Brother Lawrence, a 16th century Carmelite from Paris. I reread The Practice of the Presence of God every couple of years to remind myself of his simple, timeless wisdom. Here are a few of his gems for you to prayerfully consider this Christmas:

  • I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence…or, to speak better, a habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God.
  • The time of business does not differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of the 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.
  • His prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God.
  • As for set hours of prayer, they are only a continuation of the same exercise…simple attention and passionate regard to God.
  • (He) resolved to use his utmost endeavor to live in a continual sense of His presence, and, if possible never to forget Him.

Jesus said it simply: If we remain in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (i.e. not so much us holding a position, but allowing ourselves to be held). If we don’t, we won’t give anything lasting or substantial. May we practice His presence this Christmas and, in so doing, offer our presence to those around us.” Pete Scazzero

“Be still in the presence of the Lord”
Psalm 37:7

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • To what degree is your life “a habitual, silent, and secret conversation of your soul with God?”
  • Can you “possess God in great tranquility” in the midst of something like the “noise and clatter of the kitchen?”
  • Perhaps instead of asking whether we can do what Brother Lawrence did, we would do well to see that we are “practicing” as he did–regularly giving God our “simple attention and passionate regard.”

Abba, teach me to practice never forgetting you through the hours of my day–always giving you my loving attention.

For More: Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Statio …Do Consciously What You Would Do Mechanically (Joan Chittister)

Statio is “the practice of stopping one thing before we begin another. …the time between times. …In monastic spirituality it is common for the community to gather … for a few minutes together in the chapel itself before intoning the opening hymn of the office. My novice mistress, in fact, insisted that we all be in chapel five minutes before the bell rang for prayer, an expectation the logic of which managed to elude me for years. After all, ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ the Puritan in me knew well. ‘Every minute counts,’ I’d learned somewhere along the way. …Think of all the things that could have been done in that additional five minutes a day or thirty-five minutes a week or two hours and twenty minutes a month or twenty-eight hours a year…. Work, valuable work, could have been done and I could still have made it on time for prayer. It took years to realize that [it was] … highly unlikely, though, that my mind would have been there too. The practice of statio is meant to center us and make us conscious of what we’re about to do and make us present to the God who is present to us. Statio is the desire to do consciously what I might otherwise do mechanically. Statio is the virtue of presence. If I am present to this child before I dress her, then the dressing becomes an act of creation. …If I am present to the flower before I cut it, then life becomes precious. If I am present to the time of prayer before I pray, then prayer becomes the juncture of the human with the Divine. We have learned well in our time to go through life nonstop. Now it is time to learn to collect ourselves from time to time so that God can touch us in the most hectic of moments. Statio is the monastic practice that sets out to get our attention before life goes by in one great blur and God becomes an idea out there somewhere rather than an ever present reality here.” Joan Chittister

“You …set me in your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Imagine pausing to commit the last thing to God before beginning the next thing.
  • Imagine lifting up the next thing to God before you begin it.
  • Imagine the sanity, clarity and sense of God’s presence that could come from this practice.

Abba, help me to regularly come to a full stop, recalibrating, increasingly present to you.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister

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In “Daily Riches” my goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Sacrament of the Present Moment (Edwina Gateley, Evelyn Underhill and Julian of Norwich) *

“This is my prayer—

That, though I may not see,
I be aware
Of the Silent God
Who stands by me.
That, though I may not feel,
I be aware
Of the Mighty Love
Which doggedly follows me.
That, though I may not respond,
I be aware
That God—my Silent, Mighty God,
Waits each day.
Quietly, hopefully, persistently.
Waits each day and through each night
For me.
For me—alone.”
Edwina Gateley, “Silent God”

“God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.
Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament.”
Evelyn Underhill

“…God wishes to be seen, and he wishes to be sought, and he wishes to be expected, and he wishes to be trusted.” Julian of Norwich

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
 Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • There is a “Silent God who stands by” you, and a “Mighty Love which doggedly follows” you. What emotions arise in your soul when you let that sink in?
  • In his infinity and ubiquity, God is able to “wait each day, quietly, hopefully, persistently …each day and through each night …For me–alone” – and at the same time for you, and for every person made in God’s image. How are you responding to God’s waiting hopefully, quietly – persistently for you?
  • Do you really believe that “God is always coming to you in the … present moment?” Can you focus, not on the past or the future, but on being present to God in this moment now, and as this day unfolds, through the moments of the day as they succeed each other?

Abba, help me learn to structure my days so that I return again and again to these life-giving concepts. And thank you for your nearness, your persistence, your dogged, unfailing love. Thank you that you hold me fast.

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For More: There Was No Path So I Trod One by Edwina Gateley

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Sacrament of the Present Moment (Edwina Gateley and Evelyn Underhill)

“This is my prayer—

That, though I may not see,
I be aware
Of the Silent God
Who stands by me.
That, though I may not feel,
I be aware
Of the Mighty Love
Which doggedly follows me.
That, though I may not respond,
I be aware
That God—my Silent, Mighty God,
Waits each day.
Quietly, hopefully, persistently.
Waits each day and through each night
For me.
For me—alone.”
Edwina Gateley “Silent God”

“God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.
Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament.”
Evelyn Underhill

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
 Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • There is a “Silent God Who stands by” you, and a “Mighty Love Which doggedly follows” you. What emotions arise in your soul when you let that sink in?
  • In his infinity and ubiquity, God is able to “wait each day, quietly, hopefully, persistently …each day and through each night …For me–alone” – and at the same time for you, and for every person made in God’s image. How are you responding to God’s waiting hopefully, quietly – persistently for you?
  • Do you really believe that “God is always coming to you in the … present moment?” Can you focus, not on the past or the present, but on being present to God in this moment now, and as this day unfolds, through the moments of the day as they succeed each other?

Abba, help me learn to structure my days so that I return again and again to these life-giving concepts. And thank you for your nearness, your persistence, your dogged, loyal love. Thank you that you hold me fast.

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For More: There Was No Path So I Trod One by Edwina Gateley

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. Thanks!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)