Brother Lawrence gives a suggestion on a key to living in a continual state of serenity.
With all the difficulties we face in life, it should not be a surprise that our souls can be affected negatively by the anxiety we face on a daily basis. During severe periods of stress, finding peace in our soul may sound like an impossible thing.
Still, according to Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk of the 17th century, peace of soul can be attained if we follow a simple rule.
He further writes in a letter how he began to live as if there was none but [God] and him alone in the world.
For a peaceful state of mind
Behold God in your heart as your Father, and as your God: Worship Him as often as you can, keeping your mind in His holy Presence, and recalling it as often as you find it wander away from God. During this exercise, you might encounter pain, but yet you need to continue, notwithstanding all the difficulties that would occur, without troubling or disquieting yourself when your mind had wandered involuntarily. You have to make this devotion your daily business, at any appointed time of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute.
Brother Lawrence explains how “when we are faithful to keep ourselves in the holy Presence of God, and set Him always before us, this does not only hinder our offending Him, and doing anything that may displease Him, even if it’s willfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom or, a familiarity with God”.
This straightforward way of practicing the Presence of God, gives way to a peaceful heart, united to the heart of God. If we are able to always be in the presence of God, we can then begin to feel his peace enter our soul. Nothing can ever disturb a person united to the heart of God, even when difficulties trespasses.
Try this devotion this week and keep God always in your thoughts. It won’t be easy, but you may be surprised by the results.