States of Christian Life and Vocation, According to the Doctors and Theologians of the Church/Preface
THE few years that make up what is called a man's life, are of the utmost importance. They determine his entire eternity. Our Father in Heaven takes a deep interest in them, and does not wish them to be a failure. On our part, then, we should not misuse these years, and much less should we trifle them away. A pagan emperor mourned the loss even of one day. St. Paul tells us (Gal. vi, 10) that all our time is given to us to work good.
The proper way, therefore, for us to live, is to do God's ever-holy will in this world; to embrace that state and form of life which Divine Providence has traced out for us. When we live where God wants us to be, graces are proportioned to difficulties, and the current of life flows on as smoothly as we can expect it to do in our present condition.
The little work, of which we here present a translation, teaches us admirably how to follow and carry out the guidance of God during our sojourn on this earth. The original has been highly commended by several French bishops. It was published with the approbation of the Master of the Sacred Palace. It even merited for its learned author a most complimentary letter from the immortal Pius IX.
Father Berthier's teaching is drawn from the most reliable Catholic sources. We are not astonished that his work has gone through several editions in France. We hope that the same success awaits it in its English dress. In all probability, this translation is not what it could be in abler hands; but any defect in that line cannot detract from the intrinsic worth of the book itself. In our humble opinion, Father Berthier has given us one of the best, if not the very best, of books, upon the grave subject of vocation.
We trust that this modest translation will be instrumental in spreading more correct views on the Christian Life, and in preventing many from rushing into a state of life from unworthy motives, and especially without consulting God. Father Berthier's book will be a light to the clergy and the laity; for it will put the various states clearly before the mind of the latter, and enable the former to be good guides for those who ask their advice when there is question of making a choice.