New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. 1873. FIRST EDITION (NAP). Leather_bound. 16mo (approximately 6.75" x 4" x 1.75") Full leather. Elaborate, Baroque, modelled thick boards with intricate gilding
and tooling in blind. All edges gilt and gauffered. Rubbing to extremities, and rubbing ann fading to spine. Divided into three parts. "...The First Part contains Private Devotions; The Second Part Public Devotions for Mass and Benediction; the Third Part Devotions and Intentions for Approaching the Sacraments and for Special Occasions"
Imprimatur John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York and Re-Imprimatur Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York. Very Good. Item #73526
This is but one of numerous written works by Sister Margaret Anna Cusack, who called herself "The Nun of Kenmare". Cusack was an educated Anglican-turned-Catholic, and devoted activist-firebrand who spent her life advocating for the poor, and challenging what she considered social inequities and even hypocrisies within the Catholic Church and its leadership. Cusack wrote that "many are suffering from the rampant and unjust practices of the church in her day, and ...“Roman Catholic ecclesiastics have impressed the people with the very convenient idea that they are not to be blamed, no matter what wrong they may do; so the devil is made the convenient scapegoat. The claim of priests to be thus excused is a serious danger to the Roman Catholic Church. Facts cannot be hidden as they were in earlier ages. People know that certain evils exist, and though they may be silent for a time, the existence of these evils is not forgotten. An open, honest admission of the evils in the church would go far to lessen them. It would at least save the church the awful crime of even appearing to approve evil by not condemning it....I believe the cause of some of the trouble in convent life is a mistaken view of human nature. Those who enter a religious house, young and full of hope and zeal, and with such sublime ideas of perfection, still take with them poor humanity. To believe that putting on a religious garb will at once alter the dispositions, tempers, or personal peculiarities is a sad delusion. It is true that we may, by generous efforts, change in some respects, but nature is slow and habit is strong. We come into the convent full of imperfections, perhaps of grave faults, and we expect to find every one there perfect; but they like ourselves, are human....Her main complaint was with an unjust church system that allowed, sometimes even encouraged, the worst sides of those men to flourish. 'Human frailty,' she noted, “which made even Paradise a desolation, comes in everywhere, and blights if it cannot destroy.” Weakened, tired, and sick after decades of ministry and continuing battles with some church prelates, Margaret Cusack resigned from the order she had founded ... so that her personal struggles would not prevent the order from thriving. Ten years later she died in England and was buried with Anglican rites.