In my spiritual reading recently, I went back to revisit The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, a Carmelite lay brother (1614-1691). In this series of his reflections and letters, Brother Lawrence describes his spiritual walk in God’s perpetual presence. He talked with God constantly throughout the day as if God were always standing right beside him.
“We ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen.” “We should feed and nourish our souls with thoughts of GOD; which give us great joy in being devoted to Him.” And we should, “make the love of GOD the purpose of all our actions, … seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.”
This, of course, is exactly what Jesus promised, “Surely, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) Jesus is always present with us. We often get so distracted by the cares and concerns of our daily lives that we forget he is there. Brother Lawrence had trained himself to be constantly aware of Christ’s presence through imagination and conversation, and so he lived in perpetual peace and joy.
After my recent re-read of the book, I reflected on the idea of viewing Jesus as my best friend forever – my BFF. It is nothing but joy to be constantly with my best friend, to share my daily experiences, to discuss my concerns with him, and to seek his assistance in all my troubles.
Unfortunately, we can sometimes take our lives to places where we don’t want Jesus to be present. Of course, we cannot leave him behind. We can only forget that he is there, and deal with the shame later. Isn’t It better to keep constant awareness of our best friend’s presence and experience his joy and comfort?
“Many find the Christian life burdensome because they get stuck on doing penances and repeating various exercises but neglect the love of God which is the sole purpose of the Christian life. Our only business is to love and delight ourselves in GOD.”
Your best friend is with you wherever you go – forever. Take advantage of his presence and enjoy all he is for you.