Friends are doing a lot of reevaluation these days, reexamining our past and our venerable Quaker ancestors. In some cases, when moral inconsistencies emerge into the open, reexamination means that some iconic Friends are losing their luster. In other cases, stories of early Friends’ messy lives help us to see their humanity, which can lend greater depth and nuance to their spiritual writings.
Some wannabe disciples of Brother Lawrence (like me) are baffled by quotes like this from a book of his teachings, The Practice of the Presence of God:
Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave him not alone.
What does that mean? How? I tried praying his prayer: