Written in Old French by the famed Capuchin theologian, Ambroise de Lombez, this book, first published in 1756, immediately gained enormous popularity and a reading audience sufficient to necessitate its being reprinted in thirteen different editions right up to our own times. A French classic, it involves an in-depth analysis of the psychological, philosophical and theological aspects of growth in the spiritual life of those in search of interior peace, the obstacles to that peace and how to conquer them, where the proper means to this peace are to be found, and some practical aspects of interior peace. âThe teaching of this book is consistent with that of all other earlier Christian spiritual authors from the great ascetics and mystics of the desert of the 4th century through the Middle Ages down to our present timeâ¦ This classic is grounded in the wisdom and prudence of St. Francis de Sales, yet is still solidly relevant to all modern Christians who seriously wish to attain that inner peace which comes from our union with the indwelling Trinity.â George A. Maloney, SJ in the Foreword to the book.
The translator of this work, Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), the first native-born American saint, was a pioneer of Catholic education in the United States and the founder of the Sisters of Charity. Translating religious works were, to her, instructive, stimulating, necessary and personally gratifying in fulfilling her role as educator and founder at a time when religious works in English were not readily available.