“It matters not to me …

… what I do, or what I suffer, so long as I abide lovingly united to God’s will, … that is my whole business.” Taken from the writings of Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Discalced Carmelite of Paris, France, the collection commonly known as, “The Spiritual Maxims of Brother Lawrence”.

There is a small book, very well-known, by the title of “The Practice of the Presence of God”, which short volume is a collection of letters written by Brother Lawrence. A lesser known work, and the only other one by the good Brother that I’m aware of, is the one quoted from above. Brother spent most of his monastic career tucked away, unseen and unknown, in his Carmel’s kitchen. And, given what he wrote about that, he was glad and content to be there.

“Lovingly united to God’s will.” One short sentence speaking volumes. It has been said that people write many books explaining the truth because they don’t understand it. I’m sure that’s true for a great many. But the good Brother (and I’ve often wondered why he’s never been canonized) seems to not fall into that niche. That having been duly noted …

Lovingly. Not begrudgingly, or for fear of retribution either here or hereafter (after all perfect love casts out fear), but with love. The type of love that works out one’s salvation with fear (heartfelt respect and due awe) and trembling because, in love, one would never want to offend the One loved. In love. And this is the key. This IS key. Not one belonging only to Brother Lawrence, but one available to all. What did Christ ask Peter after the Resurrection? “Do you love me?” This was and is the primary question for us all. What was the gift given Peter? I’m not in reference here to the Papacy, or to Apostolic Succession, or things of that nature. I’m talking about what Lawrence talked about. To be united to God’s will is to live in His presence. And, in love and in response to love, Jesus gave Peter the key to heaven. I speak here allegorically and not in terms of dogmatic church doctrine. Love is the key. To union with Christ. To be in honest union one must be in self-less love. To be in self-less love is the key, both to the kingdom hereafter and to peace on earth today. Love, like peace and freedom, begins in the heart. There can be no love where there is no heart. And where one’s heart is, there will be their treasure also.

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Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm  Comments Off on “It matters not to me …