In this episode we speak with award-winning translator Carmen Acevedo Butcher. Carmen’s latest work is a new, inclusive translation of Brother Lawrence’s classic Practice of the Presence.
Brother Lawrence was a poor, uneducated, disabled monk who worked in a monastery kitchen, who found the divine in the depths of his soul, and learnt to experience the divine presence throughout each day. So we ask Carmen how immersing herself in Brother Lawrence’s writings and spiritual practice helped guide her through her evolving faith and what role it played in her journey of healing from trauma.
Following the interview Nomad hosts Tim Nash and Anna Robinson reflect on their own experience of Brother Lawrence in both evangelical and more contemplative spaces, and ponder the role the Practice of the Presence might play in their evolving understanding of prayer.
Interview starts at 17m 10s
“There are times where talking is not needed, or when the silence is the most intimate. That is what my understanding of prayer became. Words are very important. But it’s really about relationship first.”
“You can’t not be contemplative if you’re just outdoors trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense in the world and you’re seeing the daisy beside you on the path or the red-tailed hawk soaring above you. There’s a way that contemplation finds you and you realize it’s a gift.”
“I would rather practice returning to love, returning to peace, returning to calmness, and to learn to do it like flossing my teeth; to learn to do it so that it becomes an ongoing conversation that’s really unique to me, but also universal for anyone.”