THE character and the purpose of this book are clearly indicated by its title. It is a book of devotions and prayers designed and specially adapted for the use of Religious. It offers itself to them as a helpful companion in all the exercises of religion; it aims to assist them in the particular and general examination; to instruct them in the correct and practical methods of making a meditation, and to direct them how to converse with God most properly and profitably in mental and vocal prayer.
It supplies them with abundant devotions and prayers for all the seasons of the ecclesiastical year.
A member of one of our most illustrious Religious Orders remarked one day quite casually in our presence, when devotional literature was the topic of conversation: "What we need in English is a complete Prayer-book to meet the special wants of Religious, so that a Mistress of Novices may be able to say to inquiring aspirants to the religious life: Besides the Roman Missal, I recommend to you this particular book; then you will surely have what will prove most serviceable in the convent for the hours of devotion.
Acting on this inspiration or suggestion, we have devoted much time and spared no, pains in the compilation and adaptation of the present work. It is the result at least of honest effort to meet the wants of our various Sisterhoods, and it comprises, indeed, a number of little books under one title which were approved since 1902, are from The New Raccolta.
This book is dedicated most respectfully to the members of our Religious Orders, whose heroic life of self-denial for the love of God and their neighbor, in the following of Christ and in the spirit of their vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, is an inspiration and encouragement to all who value truth and justice, virtue and holiness, while it is, at the same time, a rebuke to the worldly-minded, who walk not with God, whose thoughts are not of heaven, but of earth, and who, in their nervous quest for honor, wealth, and pleasure, in these times of individualism or egotism, seek simply the gratification of self.
We plead with these good and edifying Religious for an occasional Memento before Jesus in the tabernacle.
F. X. LASANCE.