Greatest Simplicity

Brother Lawrence was both very humble and very trusting.  The intimacy he had with God left him in no doubt that God would provide for him, even if what God offered in the moment was a series of trials or, even, a good death.  We have trouble thinking of trials as a gift from God.  When I was young I welcomed them because I knew that they were helping me learn and develop.  Now that I’m in middle age, I find them burdensome.  Aren’t I developed enough?  God’s answer, of course, is no.  I wish that I had Brother Lawrence’s simplicity, his ability to simply ask for God’s assistance without having a pre-planned idea of what that assistance should look like.  Here’s the quote that accompanies the prayer card I made to help me meditate on this:

When an occasion of practicing some virtue was offered, Brother Lawrence addressed himself to God saying, “I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me”. And then he received strength more than sufficient. When he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault saying to God, “I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself. It is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.” Then, after this, he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.  He said we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to God frankly and plainly, and imploring God’s assistance in our affairs just as they happen. God never failed to grant it, as Brother Lawrence had often experienced.

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