The Third Spiritual Alphabet
By Fray Francisco De Osuna, Introduction by Father Cuthbert and Notes Showing the Influence of the book on St. Teresa.
We are told in the Gospel that the first law of life is to ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind.’ The end of contemplative prayer - or prayer of recollection - is nought else than the fulfillment of this law.
When this fact is realized it is surprising how little attention is given to the acquiring of the habit of contemplative prayer amongst those who aspire to something more than a mere servile obedience to the laws of God and of the Church. The merit of this book is that it does address itself to the beginner and keeps in view their special need. Fray Osuna starts out with the principle that contemplative prayer is for the many, not for the few; and he is at pains to encourage the normal good Catholoic to practise it.
This is the book which led St. Teresa of Jesus, in her early timorous days, to go forward in the way of mental prayer - a precious encouragement to one who at the early period and for many years after, recevied nothing but discouragement from her many spiritual advisers.
Impr 1931, 490 page book.