Although one might think that this book is only for nuns and sisters, that is women religious, but it is not. Many lay people find much useful advice in this holy work. It should be noted that this is only the first sixteen chapters of the work. In the Preface we read: For, as St. Denis the Areogapite says, 'Divine love consists in the affections of the heart more than in the knowledge of the understanding.' In human sciences, knowledge excites love; but in the science of the saints, love produces knowledge. He that loves God most knows Him best. Besides, it is not lofty and fruitless conceptions, but works, that unite the soul to God, and make it rich in merits before the Lord.Saint Alphonsus says: The principal means of acquiring an ardent love of Christ are mental prayer, Communion, mortification, retirement. Although each of these means is fully discussed in another part of this work, still a brief notice of them in this place will not be irrelevant.The first means to love Jesus Christ is mental prayer. Mental prayer is that blessed furnace in which the soul is inflamed with divine love. 'And', says holy David, 'in my meditation a fire shall flame out. In temptations against purity, the immediate invocation of the divine aid is absolutely necessary. The Venerable Sister Cecilia Gastelli used to say, that without prayer, chastitycannot be preserved. 'As I knew', says Solomon, 'that I otherwise could not be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought Him with my whole heart.' And let us consider that living in the world requires continence and restraint, The second means is the holy Communion. This, says St. Bonaventure, is the cellar of wine into which the King of heaven brings his spouses" to set in order charity" in their hearts, teaching them to love God above all things, and their neighbors as themselves.The third means is mortification. As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the lily blooms among the thorns, so virginity is preserved only in the midst of mortification. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to say that" chastity flourishes only among thorns." ...The fourth means is retirement. 'Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle dove's.' The spouse in the canticle is compared to the turtle, because the turtle avoids the company of other birds, and delights in solitude. ...Saint Alphonsus relates the following story: St. Francis of Assisi once said to his companion, that he was going out to preach. After walking through the town, with his eyes fixed on the ground, he returned to the convent. His companion asked him when he would preach the sermon. We have, replied the saint, by the modesty of our looks, given an excellent instruction to all who saw us. Do our lives preach a sermon or do they scandalize people and lead them into sin? This is why we need to study pious books, so that our life is a living sermon. This is true Catholic Action!