This is a review of My Prayer-Book: Happiness in Goodness (Reflections, Counsels, Prayers and Devotions) by Rev. F.X. Lasance, first published in 1908. According to the description on Fraternity Publications website, this is a classic book of prayers and devotions, many with side-by-side Latin and English. It includes the Ordinary of the Mass, Reflections, Prayers & Devotions, Litanies, the Seven Penitential Psalms, Prayers for the Dead and much more.
But it is much more than a prayer book. The first 200 pages are devoted to reflections and counsels on how to be happy in the truly Christian sense of the word. They are useful particularly for meditation.
In the Introduction, Father Lasance says:
“In thought and tendency, My Prayer-Book purposes to be the embodiment of Christian optimism and altruism; the exponent of all that is helpful and invigorating in the Christian life — of whatever is calculated to promote man’s temporal and eternal welfare; it lays stress upon the fact that while the short cut to happiness is by way of self-renunciation, self-denial, self-conquest, self-control, in the following of Christ, nevertheless good cheer, heartfelt joy, and genuine happiness, far from being incompatible with the practice ofreligion, and of the Catholic faith in particular, are really the concomitant or rather the outgrowth and efflorescence of a virtuous Christian life.”
“My Prayer-Book aims to emphasize the fact that while being good we can enjoy in many ways this beautiful world which God has made for us, and which is truly a mirror of His own beauty and perfections; it aims to inculcate the lessons of nature; how all its beauties reflect the greatness and loving kindness of the Creator and should draw us to love our good God with a grateful heart.”
I bought My Prayer-Book because it is much lighter and less bulky than the New Roman Missal (which I have reviewed). My Prayer-Book contains many of the prayers in the New Roman Missal, as well as devotions. I travel frequently to many countries with only carry-on bags, therefore every gram counts.
If you already have the Roman Missal and want something more portable to take along with you in your daily life, then this is the book for you.
- Published in 1908, it is untouched by the “spirit of Vatican II” and Bugnini.
- A vast number of prayers, devotions and litanies; 200 pages of reflections and counsels (useful for mental prayer/meditation).
- Lightweight (291 grams or 10.26 ounces) despite having 730 pages.
- Fits in a small purse and in your hand (10.5 cm x 16 cm x 2.25 cm) (4.13 in x 6.3 in x 0.9 in).
- Hardcover leatherette protects against the cover being bent during my travels.
- The paper is very thin and can tear easily, and the print on the other side of the page does show through.
- The book is a fairly inexpensive reprint, not an original printed edition.
Here are photos of My Prayer-Book:
(1) It is more compact than The New Roman Missal and fits in the palm of my hand.
(2) Screenshots of the first pages
Note how thin the pages are!
If you want to examine the book in detail before buying it, you can download a scanned book version of My Prayer Book (PDF Format) from archive.org.