The Practice of the Presence of God Brother Lawrence (of the Resurrection) I

  1. Lenten Suggestion, Spiritual Classic with a Companion 40 Day Devotion

Somewhat of a mystery. Well known in England. English speaking countries, less known in French. Reintroduced in France a century ago.

Several Translations available: show the three, discuss different formats. Critical and authorized by Carmelites: 1896 Martino publishing font size 8pt?, photocopied and rebound rather than retyped/rest; Alan Vermilye modern English, study guide that is ecumenical, which means the astute Catholic will need a careful eye, example page 34.

* Critical Edition[1] from the Carmelites preserves his full Carmelite name.

III. Historical Setting 1614-1691 After Reformation before the French Revolution. This time is considered The Catholic Reformation[2]

Alan Schreck notes, “There had been other ecumenical councils concerned with the reform of the Catholic Church before the Council of Trent. Trent was different because most of the reforms were actually carried out and put into effect.”[3]

As a result of this historic council many fruits were evidenced.

Dr. Scheck notes, “Another way to look at the Catholic Church after the reformation, though is to see it as a church that was purified and renewed and that reflected more clearly the life of Christ. There was a flowering, a new springtime, of faith and devotion among many Catholics. Devotion to Mary and the saints was purified and renewed. The Council of Trent encouraged Catholics to receive Holy Communion frequently- at least once a week- and to receive forgiveness of their sins in the sacrament of penance often. Adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was encouraged through benediction and forty hours services. Even though the Mass continued in Latin rather than the language of the people, missals and other devotional aids helped people to pray when they attended Mass.”[4]

Catholic Mysticism flourished as well as. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) and John of the Cross (1542-1591), Carmelite mystics and doctors of the Church.

Mysticism = direct apprehension of God by the mind.[5]

Activists, missionaries and martyrs orders such as the Jesuits (1491-1556), St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597), Edmund Campion (1540-1581), Isaac Jogues (1607-1647),

Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), poor

Margaret Mary Alacoque SHJ (1647-1690) mystic

Names are so familiar, Bro Lawrence lost for a while, then a new purchase. Essential message live spirituality that disavows it

[1] Salvatore Sciuraba, OCD trans., The Practice of the Presence of God Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Critical Edition (ICS:  Washington D.C. 2015)

[2] Steve Weidenkopf & Alan Schreck, Epic A Journey Through Church History (Ascension Press: West Chester, PA 2009) 173 -181

[3] Alan Schreck, The Compact History of the Catholic Church (Servant Books: Cincinnati OH 2009) 82

[4] Schreck 83

[5] Schreck 83