The Practice of the Presence of God #627259

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Since you desire so earnestly that I should communicate to you the method by which I arrived at that habitual sense of God’s Presence, which Our Lord, of His mercy, has been pleased to vouchsafe to me, I must tell you, that it is with great difficulty that I am prevailed on by your importunities, and now I do it only upon the terms, that you show my letter to nobody. If I knew that you would let it be seen, all the desire that I have for your perfection would not be able to determine me to it.
The account I can give you is this. Having found in many books different methods prescribed of going to God, and divers practices of the spiritual life, I thought that this would serve rather to puzzle me, than to facilitate what I sought after, which was nothing else, but how to become wholly God’s. This made me resolve to give the all for the all: so after having given myself wholly to God, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not His; and I began to live, as if there was none but He and I in the world. Sometimes I considered myself before Him, as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times, I beheld Him in my heart as my Father, as my God; I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His Holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandering from Him. I found no small trouble in this exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that I encountered, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily. I made this my business, as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of God.
Such has been my common practice ever since I entered into religion; and though I have done it very imperfectly, yet I have found great advantages by it. These, I well know, are to be imputed solely to the mercy and goodness of God, because we can do nothing without Him; and I still less than any. But when we are faithful to keep ourselves in His Holy Presence, and set Him always before us; this not only hinders our offending Him, and doing anything that may displease Him, at least wilfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom, and, if I may so speak, a familiarity with God, wherewith we ask, and that successfully, the graces we stand in need of. In fine, by often repeating these acts, they become habitual, and the Presence of God is rendered as it were natural to us. Give Him thanks, if you please, with me for His great goodness towards me, which I can never sufficiently marvel at, for the many favours He has done to so miserable a sinner as I am. May all things praise him. Amen.—I am, in Our Lord, Yours.
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Brother Lawrence