Feast of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (February 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

Image in the Public Domain

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NICHOLAS HERMAN (CIRCA 1614-FEBRUARY 12, 1691)

French Roman Catholic Monk

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The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.

–Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection; quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 24

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Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via Ellsberg, All Saints (1997).

Nicholas Herman, born in Hériménil, near Lunéville, France, circa 1614, was a peasant.  By the time our saint was 16 years old, he was a soldier in Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).  The 16-year-old Herman reported a mystical vision.  Later in the war, he was briefly a prisoner and an alleged spy.  Herman’s exit from the war came via combat-related injuries that rendered him permanently crippled.  After his military service, our saint was a footman to Guillaume de Fuibert, the royal treasurer.  Our saint recalled being clumsy, breaking items.

Herman, no longer a footman, entered the religious life.  He was a hermit for a while.  Finally, our saint, 26 years old, joined the Order of Discaled Carmelites in Paris, as a lay brother.  On August 14, 1642, Herman made his solemn vows and became Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection.

Brother Lawrence had found his niche.  He worked in the kitchen for years.  Later, he repaired sandals.  Our saint learned how to live in continuous prayer.  He lived this way by performing his duties with a consciousness of the presence of God that hallows them.  Brother Lawrence also became a respected spiritual counselor.  François Fénelon (1651-1715), the Archbishop of Cambrai (1695f), was one of his admirers.

Brother Lawrence died on February 12, 1691.

After Brother Lawrence died, Abbé Joseph de Beaufort compiled a book, The Practice of the Presence of God.  This volume of our saint’s wisdom has influenced devout Christians from a variety of communions for centuries.

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Loving God, thank you for the gifts of spiritual insight you bestowed

upon your servant Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection.

May the Church never be bereft of these gifts.

May we perform our duties, no matter how mundane,

with a consciousness of your sanctifying presence.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16

Psalm 119:33-40

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Matthew 11:25-30

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 12, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSAPHAT KUNTSEVYCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF POLOTSK, AND MARTYR, 1623

THE FEAST OF JOHN TAVENER, ENGLISH PRESBYTERIAN THEN ORTHODOX COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, COMPOSER, WRITER, PHILOSOPHER, FEMINIST, AND ALLEGED HERETIC

THE FEAST OF RAY PALMER, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ARTHUR DUNKERLEY, BRITISH NOVELIST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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