Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

LONDON :

ROBSON AND SONS, PRINTERS, PANCRAS ROAD, N.W.

TO

THE COMMUNITIES

OF

ST. SCHOLASTICA'S ABBEY, TEIGNMOUTH ;

ST. BENEDICT'S PRIORY, COLWICH ;

AND

ST. SCHOLASTICA'S PRIORY, ATHERSTONE,

LIVING A

BENEDICTINE LIFE OF PEACE, SILENCE, RECOLLECTION, AND PRAYER,

AND

NEVER CEASING TO WATCH DAY AND NIGHT

BEFORE OUR DIVINE LORD IN THE SACRAMENT OF HIS LOVE,

This Book

IS REVERENTLY AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED

BY THEIR UNWORTHY BROTHER,

THE EDITOR.

PREFACE.

In his Spiritual Conflict and Conquest, Juan de Castaniza has given to the world one of those undying spiritual books which contribute to form the inner life and character of all who aspire to love and serve God. The first part of this golden work is familiar to all. The Spiritual Conflict is of world-wide celebrity. There are few to whom it has not been, at one period or other of their spiritual course, a solace and a light. In many it awakens the memory of principles grasped, resolutions formed, passions rooted out, sins obliterated, darkness dispelled, graces cherished, and love inflamed. The souls it has rescued from the foul hands of the evil one, and brought weeping to the feet of their crucified Saviour; the souls it has kept steadfastly, in spite of the weakness and waywardness of fallen nature, in the strait and narrow path; the souls it has lifted out of the vanity of earth, made radiant with the charity of God and gently drawn into the mystic heights of divine contemplation,what human tongue can count their number? Its fame is not confined to one hemisphere, but has reached to well-nigh every country under the sun, illuminated by the light of the Cross and fortified by the life-giving grace of the Sacraments. To say that its fame is co-extensive with Christianity is hardly an exaggeration. No ascetical work, with the exception perhaps of the Following of Christ, has attained so many editions. Shortly after its first appearance, translations into Latin, Italian, French, English, German, Portuguese, Flemish, Greek, Armenian, Basque, and Arabic followed in astonishing rapidity. As early as the year 1619 there was published an • Asiatic' and 'Indian' translation. A copy of the Armenian may be seen in the British Museum. The exact date of the original Spanish edition cannot be accurately determined. It was probably published many years before the death of its saintly author, which occurred in 1598. In this same year it was clothed in an English dress, and introduced for the first time into this country. This translation, having been made from an Italian version, was, however, in many ways defective. Thus, chap. xxxiii., * Of the Perfect Oblation of thyself to thy Lord God,' directed to Religious persons, and chap. xxxvii., 'How to Offer up Devoutly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,' addressed to Priests, are both omitted in this edition. F. John Barnes, an English Benedictine Monk, who took the holy habit at Valladolid in 1604, and very possibly was personally acquainted with Castaniza, published a new translation some few years later. The work by this time had found its way into the Catholic homes of England, and during the dark days of persecution kept alive the flame of charity and the light of faith. The intrepid missionaries of these perilous times who, thirsting for the salvation of souls, had abandoned the security of the cloister, and crossed over the seas

« ZurückWeiter »