Fr. Alfonso Gálvez´s book regarding the topic of prayer could actually be placed within a trilogy: Prayer (2002), The Mystery of Prayer (2014), and Mística y Poesía (2018). While it is true that there are constant references to this very topic in all his other works (though they may be from different points of view), in these three books, the underlying theme is the dialogue between God and Man.
In reality, this first book is not so much a treatise on prayer, but rather “a short vade-mecum which can be useful for reminding people of ideas they already know” on this subject. The author carries out, in a book that spans not much more than one hundred pages, the substantial task of helping the man of our time speak to God and to make known to man how God has desired to speak with him from all eternity. Prayer is nothing but a dialogue between God and man. From the basis of prayer, namely, the need man has of speaking to God--a true need--and that which God has of speaking with man--a need freely desired--, till the final chapter, “On the paths of contemplation”, A. Gálvez expounds deeply on the elements which are necessary, on the part of man, for this dialogue to take place. As for God, there is no doubt that He wishes to speak to us, for He created us as persons, and became Himself a Man like us. The entire mystery of Divine Revelation consummated in the Incarnation of the Word is geared toward expressing that need, which God has desired to have, of loving man and being loved by him.
Among the very important topics the author discusses, both the Dialogue of Love present in the bosom of the Holy Trinity (a participation of which takes place in the dialogue that God has wished to establish with man), and the imitation of Christ form together the foundation of this vade-mecum. Once these first principles of prayer are established, the author then tackles, among other things, the problems having to do with distractions, temptations, the necessity of mortification in one's life, and finally touching on that divine grace which is contemplation. The reader will never cease to be amazed or charmed by the inexhaustible wealth of passages from Holy Scripture that A. Gálvez finds to support each and every one of these points, as well as by the logical connection he draws between them and the basic principles of a sound Catholic Theology.
Due to these characteristics, and to the fact that what is written in this work arises mainly from the author's personal experience, this book--together with the other two aforementioned--, could be the first in a very important, useful, and profound trilogy on prayer in the life of the Christian. It’s doctrinal and scriptural foundation on the Song of Songs, explained in terms that are less academic and more accessible to our times, places it among the greatest classical treatises on the subject.
In order to adapt Father Alfonso's works to new technologies and formats, these second editions have been made, in which the text is the same as the first edition, with the exception of corrected errors.