Ten years ago, as a new convert to Catholicism, I bought this book as a guide to Catholic prayer. I couldn't have made a better choice. It is a perfect blend of contemporary and ancient prayers, generously interspersed with religious poetry. It contains traditional prayers of the church mixed with personal prayers of saints and others who are seeking God. It balances these prayers beautifully. One will find all the basics, for sure, plus others that might inspire you in a different prayer direction. I have since gone on to collect prayer books, Catholic and non-Catholic, with a collection now totaling over 150 volumes. Hands down, this is the book I return to again and again. Whatever mood I find myself in, or especially when I'm not sure what to pray, this is the prayer book I go to first. Were I to select only one from my collection to recommend, this would be it.
Breviary or Horologion?
This devotional prayer book got many features of the liturgy of the hours for praising The Lord, a Cathedral form of praise known in the West as The 'Divine Office' or breviary. In the East it started as a monastic office, in Pachom'ius' cenobitic Agpiya or Horologion, whose Basilica form was preserved in Bishop Serapion Horologion, now in the British Museum.
Msgr. Michael Buckley,SJ Compiled a beatiful praying companion, based on daily needs of the friars of Mendicant Orders whose members carried with them, on their travels that started in the twelve century. Same tradition is diffused in the Roman and their Unite Eastern Churches of a single all purpose salvific aid.
Introduction: how to pray?
The Cyrillic rule of prayer: Pray to The Father, with the name of The Son, in The Holy Spirit (St. Cyril, the pillar of faith), is here expressed in the Trinitarian devotion. It starts rightly with thanksgiving reflecting the ancient Roman Alexandrian fellowship from Athanasius to Cyril.The Christian life is a vocation of continuos unceasing prayer, which this small book intends to inspire you to share in every occasion.
Chrisms or means of Grace:
Sacraments of baptism, Eucharist, and reconciliation, with elaboration on the orders of Mass, or thankfulness. Now, read and pray one of the most spiritual, sanctifying prayer; Anima Christi, recommended by Ignatius of Loyola, Bonaventura's desire for closer union, and the adoration devotion. The beaty of this book is, a harmonious blend of ancient, medieval, and contemporary prayers, confirming the Mystical body of Christ, the bride ever longing to the Bridegroom in the quietness of the bridal room, the inner prayer place that Jesus asked us to recline in.
Prayer and prayers:
The Jesus prayer is a strong sign of the ecumenical trend of the Roman Church towards the Catholic or Universal Church, as a friend of mine insists our Lord asked to gather His mystical body, this is his message to be One. The Jesus prayer was the Lords own on the Publicans thought:" Lord have mercy on me a sinner, Kyria Elaison. St. Macarius called it "the arrow prayer", his disciple Evagrius Ponticus carried it with him, same way John Cassian, carried with him the Pachomian tradition into south France, where the Benedectine continued the way.
This is a devotional life sharing prayer book, being Horologion or Breviary, does not prevent it to be a quiet but forceful way to carry your prayerful longing, Reformed or Orthodox you share in one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, a praying body.