In the first week, we were introduced to Brother Lawrence, author of “The Practice of the Presence of God and the Spiritual Maxims.” We talked a bit about the contemplative life and the similarities to a typical modern life. We also considered the direction, in 1 Thessalonians 5, to “pray without ceasing” from the third week of Advent and how can that be?
We heard a few passages from Brother Lawrence’s, including the idea that we should perform all of our actions for the love of God and that God judges the act based on the love with which it is performed. We talked about being lost in the work, the athlete’s idea of “the zone” in which the athlete is so lost in the performance as to give no thought to performing, and the difference between acts done for love of what might result and acts done for fear of what might result. Brother Lawrence directed us to Galatians 1:10 and to Ephesians 6.
Next week, we will continue our conversation of these topics and begin to look at a response to sin, which pulls us away from God.
Meanwhile, we are asked to try to perform a few of our daily actions with a heart inclined to do these things for the love of God. These are the normal types of things that go with daily life – work, laundry, cooking, commuting, whatever. The suggestion is to pick one easy task and one hard task, just try it out, take this thing that you would do anyway and decide that you are doing it for the love of God, see what is different, tell the group about your observations if you would like.
Each discussion in the series overlaps a bit with others, but is intended to stand alone – you can come to any or all and be certain to receive great benefit!