Prayer was a way of life for Adrienne von Speyr, one of this last century's great Catholic mystics. In this major work on prayer, edited by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Adrienne discusses the many aspects and kinds of prayer, the vocation of every Christian.
The fundamental theme of this work is that prayer, like everything else that comes to man through God's self-revelation in Christ (such as grace; faith, hope and love; or the realtionship between Christ and the Church), is ultimately rooted in God himself and in his triune exchange of life.
Beyond all purely creaturely motives and needs, Christian prayer is a participation in the inner life of the Trinity, which is revealed, prepared and accomplished in the world by Jesus Christ our Lord. By him it is made available for us to take part in.
This book is much more than a manual on how to pray. It gives an in-depth description of prayer: first the prayer of the Trinity, then the prayer of Christ, then of the Blessed Virgin, and finally that of all Christians. In particular, the section on the prayer of Mary is a masterful description of the various stages of growing in prayer. Mary is the perfect model because of her intimate association with her Son.
"What is found here in this book is rich enough to rekindle genuine prayer life in the Church and to give a powerful impetus to the theology of prayer."
-Hans Urs von Balthasar
"There is so much rich material for meditation in this book. Von Speyr shows that prayer, like the soul's sharing in the life of the Trinity, is always new, fresh, and exciting, since God continually gives the soul an expectation of fulfillment, only to go far beyond what was expected, to fulfill superabundantly. That is the unique characteristic of this book-revealing that prayer is life itself, always new, dynamic, an adventure whose foundation is in the very life of the Trinity."
-Douglas G. Bushman, S.T.L., Author, Meeting God in Your Heart
Adrienne von Speyr was a contemporary Swiss convert, mystic, wife, medical doctor and author of some 70 books on spirituality and theology. She entered the Church under the direction of one the greatest theologians and spiritual writers of the 20th century, Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, who became her spiritual director and confessor for the last 30 years of her life. Her writings, recognized as a major contribution to the great mystical writings of the Church, are being translated and published by Ignatius Press. Among her most important works are Book of All Saints, Confession, The World of Prayer, Handmaid of the Lord, and The Passion from Within.