Nicholas Herman [pronounced Ar-man] was born in Lorraine, France in 1605. He reached his teen years at the onset of the Thirty Years War, during which he fought for the French Army, was seriously wounded and from that time walked with great difficulty. He was converted at age 18 and had a hunger for spiritual growth. After his military service, he worked for some time for the French Treasury Department. Years passed and at age 50 he longed for something more. Nicholas joined the Carmelite monastery in Paris. He was very disappointed with they assigned him to the kitchen. He took it as an insult and a humiliation. Refusing to renege on his vow, he did his work begrudgingly but faithfully.
One day Nicholas said, “enough with this.” He decided to change his way of thinking. He began to practice God’s presence in the kitchen visualizing God’s presence hovering over him. He realized that even the most menial task had to undertaken for the glory of God who was present. He came to believe that wherever he stood, even in the hot kitchen, was holy ground because the LORD was present. Nicholas’s countenance and demeanor gradually changed and others began asking him about his radiance. Christian leaders sought him out and asked his advice. One such man was the abbot of Beaufort. He began to correspond with Nicholas on a regular basis and kept a record of all of Nicholas’ letters. The abbot even compiled them into book form calling it, THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD. It was published after the death of Nicholas. I’m not sure he was even aware of what the abbot was doing. Now you know that Nicholas Herman was “Father Lawrence” and his writing have been read and studied by millions.