"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."

St Philip Neri

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."

St Philip Neri

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "

Thomas á Kempis

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Bro Lawrence  (1610-1691)



by Bro Lawrence


Editor's Preface


1. First Conversation
Conversion and precious employment.
Satisfaction in God's presence.
Faith our duty.
Resignation the fruit of watchfulness.
2. Second Conversation
Love the motive of all.
Once in fear, now in joy.
Diligence and love. Simplicity the key to Divine assistance.
Business abroad as at home.
Times of prayer and self-mortification not essential for the practice.
All scruples brought to God.
3. Third Conversation
Love the motive of all.
Once in fear, now in joy.
Diligence and love. Simplicity the key to Divine assistance.
4. Fourth Conversation
The manner of going to God. � Hearty renunciation.
Prayer and praise prevent discouragement.
Sanctification in common business.
Prayer and the presence of God.
The whole substance of religion.
Self-estimation. Further personal experience.


1. How the habitual sense of God's Presence was found.
2. Difference between himself and others. Faith alone consistently and persistently. Deprecates this state being considered a delusion. NOT finding my manner of life in books, although I have no difficulty about it, yet, for greater security, I shall be glad to know your thoughts concerning it.
3. For a soldier friend whom he encourages to trust in God.
4. Writes of himself as of a third person, and encourages his correspondent to press on to fuller practising of the Presence of God.
5. Prayer for a sister who is about to make a vow and profession. A fresh insisting upon the necessity and virtue of practising the Presence of God.
6. To a member of the order who had received from him a book, and to whom he again enlarges on his favourite topic. Encouragement to persevere.
7. At the age of nearly fourscore exhorts his correspondent, who is
sixty-four, to live and die with God and promises and asks for
8. Concerning wandering thoughts in prayer.
9. Enclosing a letter to a corresponding sister, whom he regards with respect tinged with fear. His old theme concisely put.
10. Has difficulty, but sacrifices his will, to write as requested. The loss of a friend may lead to acquaintance with the Friend.
11. To one who is in great pain. God is the Physician of body and of soul. Feels that he would gladly suffer at His wish.
12. To the same correspondent probably, and expresses his own abiding comfort through faith.
13. To the same he exhorts for fuller and entire confidence in God, for body and soul.
14. Gratitude, for mercies to his correspondent, and measure of relief while he has himself been near death, but with consolation in his suffering.
15. From his death-bed. Repeats the same exhortation to knowledge, that we may love.