"In this radiant new translation, Carmen Acevedo Butcher puts her acclaimed skills as a translator fully in the service of her listening heart to deliver Brother Lawrence's timeless teaching on simplicity and presence to a world desperately in need of it. More than a translation, this is a transmission, conveying not only Lawrence's words but the spirit of inclusivity and kindness from which he wrote them. It is her faithfulness to the fragrance of his presence that makes her translation so inviting, even as we watch her take a few risks to reach a whole new world of seekers. It was a joy to watch Carmen and Brother Lawrence making such sweet music together."
Practice of the Presence
A Revolutionary Translation by Carmen Acevedo Butcher
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"Everything is possible for those who believe, even more for those who hope, still more for those who love, and most of all for those who practice and persevere in these three powerful paths."
Since it was first published in its pocket-size 1692 edition, Brother Lawrence's spiritual classic has remained in print, beloved by people of varying spiritual paths and religious traditions. With this new translation, award-winning translator Carmen Acevedo Butcher frees it from its centuries-long prison of dogmatic, binary language and brings fresh, inclusive treatment that readers are sure to find transformational. Brother Lawrence's years as a humble kitchen worker at a monastery, often remaining in the shadows of his community, gave way to a spiritual life that was profound. Poor, living with a disability, lacking a formal education, enduring a time of plague and civil unrest, he found God in the depths of his soul, experiencing God's loving presence throughout the day. His personal struggles and life-tested spiritual wisdom will resonate with contemporary readers as he invites us into a practice of Presence that is both accessible and deeply transformative.
For the first time, Brother Lawrence's work is translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, a woman of color and a renowned scholar of medieval texts, who creates a dynamic, faithful translation for a new generation of readers.