After a dramatic religious conversion, young soldier Nicholas Herman decided to devote his life to following God and learning more about Christ. He joined a monastery and took the name Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. There, he spent the rest of his life working in a kitchen and repairing his brothers’ sandals. But during his decades of doing seemingly menial jobs, Brother Lawrence discovered a profound truth about having a relationship with God: Experiencing His presence can—and should—happen everywhere.
Though during his life, much of his time was spent serving others, the wisdom Brother Lawrence gleaned from praying throughout each day has been inspiring Christians for more than 300 years. His letters and discussions with peers were later compiled into the now classic book The Practice of the Presence of God.
Brother Lawrence died today (Feb. 12) 324 years ago, but his teachings about prayer are just as relevant today as they were back then.
Here are 11 quotes that can help re-inspire how you practice faith.
On God’s Nearness
You need not cry very loud: He is nearer to us than we think.
On a Mindset of Prayer
One way to re-collect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquillity, is not to let it wander too far in other times: you should keep it strictly in the presence of God; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings.
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
We ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.
On Constant Prayer
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.
We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether he takes us through sufferings or consolations.
I did not pray for any relief, but I prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility and love.
On a Formula for Spirituality
That there needed neither art nor science for going to GOD, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, or for His sake, and to love Him only.
On Knowing God
The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.”