to all kinds of misery, and numberless accidents, which trouble us, and

cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health, in our humours, in our

internal and external dispositions: in fine, persons whom GOD would

humble by many pains and labours, as well within as without. After

this, we should not wonder that troubles, temptations, oppositions and

contradictions, happen to us from men. We ought, on the contrary, to

submit ourselves to them, and bear them as long as GOD pleases, as

things highly advantageous to us.

That the greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it

is upon Divine grace.

Being questioned by one of his own society (to whom he was obliged to

open himself) by what means he had attained such an habitual sense of

GOD? he told him that, since his first coming to the monastery, he had

considered GOD as the end of all his thoughts and desires, as the mark

to which they should tend, and in which they should terminate.

That in the beginning of his novitiate he spent the hours appointed for

private prayer in thinking of GOD, so as to convince his mind of, and to

impress deeply upon his heart, the Divine existence, rather by devout

sentiments, and submission to the lights of faith, than by studied

reasonings and elaborate meditations. That by this short and sure

method, he exercised himself in the knowledge and love of GOD, resolving

to use his utmost endeavour to live in a continual sense of His

Presence, and, if possible, never to forget Him more.

That when he had thus in prayer filled his mind with great sentiments of

that infinite Being, he went to his work appointed in the kitchen (for

he was cook to the society); there having first considered severally

the things his office required, and when and how each thing was to be

done, he spent all the intervals of his time, as well before as after

his work, in prayer.

That, when he began his business, he said to GOD, with a filial trust in

Him, "O my GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to

Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to

grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end do Thou

prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my


As he proceeded in his work, he continued his familiar conversation with

his Maker, imploring His grace, and offering to Him all his actions.

When he had finished, he examined himself how he had discharged his

duty; if he found well, he returned thanks to GOD; if otherwise, he

asked pardon; and without being discouraged, he set his mind right

again, and continued his exercise of the presence of GOD, as if he had

never deviated from it. "Thus," said he, "by rising after my falls, and

by frequently renewed acts of faith and love, I am come to a state,

wherein it would be as difficult for me not to think of GOD, as it was

at first to accustom myself to it."

As Bro. Lawrence had found such an advantage in walking in the presence

of GOD, it was natural for him to recommend it earnestly to others; but

his example was a stronger inducement than any arguments he could

propose. His very countenance was edifying; such a sweet and calm

devotion appearing in it, as could not but affect the beholders. And it

was observed, that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he

still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never

hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even

uninterrupted composure and tranquillity of spirit. "The time of

business," said he, "does not with me differ from the time of prayer;

and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at

the same time calling for different things, I possess GOD in as great

tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament."



How the habitual sense of God's Presence was found.