The book consists of seven parts. In all parts of the book there is repeated talk of humiliation and the consciousness of our sinfulness, as well as of noble behavior and participation in the suffering of others. These constituted for the Elder basic principles of spiritual life and necessary conditions for heart prayer. "Cultivate heart prayer, as much as you can, with love and humility," he writes in a letter. Many times also the Elder mentions examples from his personal struggle or reveals divine situations that he himself had experienced. This was also a "spiritual charity" that he did out of a lot of love, to help us.