Saturday, 9 May 2009

Practising the presence

Re-reading Brother Lawrence again (see last blog) excites me because it is all so do-able. He brings spirituality down to ground level when for many it is is so often perceived as something so beyond us that only the Saints seem able to attain it. There is something very symbolic in the way St. Simeon Stylites (A.D. 390-459) attains sainthood by spending 37 years on top of a 15 metre high pillar because wonderful as it is, and saintly as Simeon is, he sets sainthood out of the reach of the ordinary man and woman. Yet surely this is what the incarnation is meant to set within our reach – sainthood – and people like Brother Lawrence bring us, and it, back to earth. Here is what Joyce Huggett writes about practicing the presence of God, no doubt inspired by Brother Lawrence: “…practising the presence of God simply means to be attentive, however momentarily, or the truth of Acts 17:27-28, that God is never far away from any of us. ….it is an awareness and an in-tune-ness with his loving presence. God..transmits message at all times – messages of unending love. To connect ourselves to this love, we need only fine-tune our hearts and minds to be aware of it.”
Joyce Hugget: Finding God in the Fast Lane

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