CMP Review 2023-03-19

CMP Review 2023-03-19

“In the deep of winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, waiting silently and patiently for the sure hope of summer abundance. Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped for the first time the extravagance of God’s grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he himself was seemingly dead, but God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree ‘first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God,’ and a love for God that never after ceased to burn.”

That burning love prompted Herman to join the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris where he forever became known as Brother Lawrence.

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love,” he wrote; “they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

Perhaps it was simple for him. But is it simple for us? Perhaps the key lies in the words of his second conversation in The Practice of the Presence of God: “We ought to make a great difference between the acts of the understanding and those of the will; that the first were comparatively of little value, and the others all.”

Those words found their way into a poem by Charlotte Mason. And they find a home deep in the heart of her method. Do you believe in with your understanding, or do you believe with your will? For Brother Lawrence, it made all the difference in the world. And it did for Charlotte Mason too. Read or hear her poem here.

📷 @aolander