Learning from Lawrence

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 1 Corinthians 4:3

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. How often do you find that you judge yourself far more harshly than you would someone else?

Brother Lawrence was a disabled army veteran who, in 1640 at the age of 26, joined a monastery in Paris. He described himself as “a great awkward fellow who broke everything,” and yet in his years of peeling potatoes and making sandals, he because renowned for his kindness and his wisdom. Perhaps that kindness began with how he treated himself. Below is a reflection he wrote about his many failings. As you listen to it, ask yourself if you might learn from him how not to judge yourself and take time in silence to reflect with God about that theme.

When an occasion to practice some virtue was offered, he addressed himself to God, saying, “Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me; and that then he received strength more than sufficient.” When he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to God, “I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.” Then after this he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.
— Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God