Presence Project Week 11
They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiselled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of God’s face. — 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
You don’t need to push the river, because you are already in it —and floating along! — Richard Rohr
Perhaps the most important thing we can learn from Brother Lawrence is his paradigm shifting idea that we can and must practice our attentiveness to and loving awareness of God beyond the confines of the church sanctuary. Lawrence would have us turn our hearts into God’s church. He says, “We do not always have to be in church to be with God. We can make of our hearts an oratory where we can withdraw from time to time to converse with him there, gently, humbly, and lovingly.”
And when we are in church, or engaging in intentional spiritual practices, we must be aware that they can become empty and meaningless pieties done for all the wrong reasons if not infused with adoration of God, so he implores us, “Even during our religious exercises and vocal prayers – we must stop for a moment, as often as possible, to adore God in the depths of our hearts, to savour him, even though in passing and stealthily.”
Far from sidestepping or abandoning religious practices, as sometimes methods such as Lawrence’s are accused of, he is seeking to redeem and transform them. And further still he challenges us to go on and transform every activity in our lives into a spiritual opportunity to be present to God and adore God. Lawrence warns that it is a “big mistake to think that the period of mental prayer should be different from any other. We must be just as closely united with God during our activities as we are during our times of prayer.”
This is a fully integrated spirituality! This is a prayer-full life – every moment a moment of worship, adoration, love, honour, and blessing – every moment aglow in the presence of God.
The next few times you are in church or are worshipping be mindful of adoring God while you’re doing it.
Try to infuse all of your worship and prayer time with a profound awareness and adoration of God’s Presence!