This little book, written half a millennium ago, offers modern man what he so desperately yearns for: reassurance that God loves him. How many of our contemporaries have lost hope, both in God and in each other! It is all too easy to look at the world around us and come to the depressing conclusion that everything is getting worse and worse, and that God, if there is a God, simply does not care. When Blosius wrote this book in 1555, his world was torn by new religious divisions and on the brink of annihilation by the Turks. The new divisions and hatreds within Christendom were abhorrent partly because they weakened the Christian west at the very moment when the threat from outside seemed greatest. But the divisions were tragic enough in their own right. In an amazingly short space of time half of Europe was savagely cut off from the mainstream of Catholic Christianity, and barriers set up which show no signs of weakening even now. Consider that, along with the economic collapse, and the ever more tyrannical absolute monarchs who were establishing their nation-states in the wreckage of the Empire, and you can see that the first half of the sixteenth century was not a very comfortable time in which to live. Blosius makes no mention of the problems of his age at all. He sets out to speak nothing but words of encouragement, to make his readers cheer up, persevere, find hope in God. Above all, he proclaims to them the unconditional love of God, who - he tells us over and over again - is on our side. He is not against us. He wills all men to be saved, and works ceaseless miracles to ensure that we are saved.
Our sins and failures - though we must abhor them and repent of them - are so insignificant in comparison that they are burnt up in the fire of God's love in less time than it takes for us to utter a prayer of sorrow, of hope, of love.
Blosius' advice, drawn from many eminent Christian teachers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is particularly timely for modern man, who now faces temptations towards indifference or desolation quite similar to those of his sixteenth century counterpart. The "still, small voice of calm" which is the orthodox Catholic message of the love of God is the voice, which will still be heard when all the others have died away.