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The Practice of the Presence of God Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1982

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Editorial Reviews

Review

..."[This book] has opened up the personal interconnections within the movement as never before." --unknown --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House; New Abridged edition (June 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883681056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883681053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (814 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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304 of 314 people found the following review helpful By Cameron B. Clark VINE VOICE on December 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first learned about this wonderful little book through another very useful book entitled "Great Books of the Christian Tradition" by Terry Glaspey. Glaspey is a Christian booklover who's well read in Christian literature and considers this book one of the top ten that every Christian ought to read. The value of Brother Lawrence's book is seen in the fact that it is one of the favorites of some of the other authors on Glaspey's top ten list: A.W. Tozer (author of "The Pursuit of God") and Richard Foster (author of "A Celebration of Discipline"). Another popular Christian author (who is a Quaker like Foster) that was influenced by Brother Lawrence is mentioned in the introduction by Hal Helms in Paraclete Press's edition of "The Practice of the Presence of God": Hannah Whitall Smith (author of "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life"). Mrs. Smith called Lawrence's book "one of the most helpful books I know." And still another Quaker, Thomas Kelly (author of the classic, "A Testament of Devotion"), treasured Brother Lawrence's book as well. This is just a small handful of major authors influenced by this classic that testifies to its enduring value in the broader Christian community. I've read all of the above classics and therefore can personally testify that Brother Lawrence's principles are reflected in all of them!
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (a.k.a. Nicholas Herman) lived in the 17th century and was a monk within the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church. This was the Order of such notable Christian mystics as St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross who authored other seminal mystical texts.
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149 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Hernandez on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just can't believe it. Of all the thousands of books I have read, this small book has caught my heart. Sure I could have read it in an hour but the wisdom that flows from this edition just simply cooled the hurry of my life.
It is a book that I will place next to my Bible and refer to it every time I sensed that God is far away. Each section of the book stands on its own and yet such a lovely intricate meshing makes the reading more of an experience that a reading exercise.
The one section that caught my spirit reads: "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 (he was a cook) while several persons are calling at the same time for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament".
In another section he speaks of the opportunities to be in HIS prsence when we are stricken with an ailment.
Such statements are throughout the book which will cause one to stop and meditate. I will be buying copies to give to those in my circle that hunger for a closer walk and relationship with God over anything and anyone in their lives.
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131 of 136 people found the following review helpful By kmurray on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
A friend told me about this wonderful little book and by providence I purchased this edition as my first copy from amazon.com. The book I received looked different from the one they show here on the site, but it was published by Fleming H. Revell, as shown. The Preface is wonderful and tells the story of Brother Lawrence, preparing you for the text within. When I bought an additional copy from a local bookstore for my graduating neice, I was shocked to find out that the copy (published by a different publisher with a very different Preface) was much more mind-driven and so much less loving! In my opinion, this is the copy to get if you want a true experience of the Divine comfort and companionship Brother Lawrence knew. I've been growing closer to God for 40 years and this little book has skyrocketed me even closer. I hope it does the same for you. Peace. :) k
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177 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Pinyan on April 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 1982 publication by Whitaker House is not very good at all. It is a loose paraphrase. In the words of the publisher's preface: "In this abridged edition, we have sought to update and clarify the language of this Christian classic, paraphrasing where necessary, while keeping the essence of the message intact." It goes way overboard. It excises several passages, some of which are distinctly Catholic:

A) mention of praying at set times throughout the day (in his Carmelite monastery) in Conversation #2
B) a reference to receiving absolution through a confessor in Conversation #2
C) references in Conversation #2 to acts of mortification are corrupted; Br. Lawrence spoke of "bodily mortifications" as "useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with God by love" and that "all possible kinds of mortification, if they were void of the love of God, could not efface a single sin." (pp. 21-22) The Whitaker version renders these two separate clauses as one, "that all possible good works or self-abasing acts of contrition we could possibly do would not erase a single sin." (p. 18)
D) a quote from Br. Lawrence at the end of Conversation #4 in which he mentions kneeling in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament

It also re-orders his 15 letters, damaging them in the process:

A) Whitaker's Letter #6 appears to be completely fabricated
B) Br. Lawrence's 11th and 13th letters are missing completely, probably because they praise the salvific quality of suffering and bearing suffering joyfully
C) Br. Lawrence's 14th and 15th letters are merged into one, retaining only the first sentence of letter #14

The edition published by Spire is far better.
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