A Year with the Saints/Translator’s Preface
In presenting this work for the first time in English dress, the translator would take the opportunity of drawing the attention of the devout American reader to one or two peculiarities in its structure, which have already won for it a wide recognition among readers of books of its class in Europe.
In the first place, the allotment of separate months to individual virtues agrees well with a practice of self-examination much recommended by many spiritual writers, who advise us to take different virtues in turn as the objects of special effort. Nothing certainly could be better fitted to assist us in the acquisition of a virtue, than these selections from the writings of the most eminent masters of spiritual science, which portray its beauties, declare its necessity, or explain its various degrees and the methods of its attainment.
In the second place, the few words of exhortation or instruction, which open the reading for each day, are followed by the best of all commentaries— that of action. A great part of the book is composed of examples, which, while they have the interest of anecdote, furnish at the same time the strongest proofs of the possibility of carrying out in real life, precepts and principles which might otherwise seem too high and heavenly for our every-day existence.
In the hope then that these exotic flowers may flourish and blossom in many an American garden, they are offered to the lovers of spiritual excellence and beauty by the translator.