The key to a Christian conception of studies is the realization that prayer consists of attention. It is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God. The psalms themselves are prefaced by various tables and diagrams for calculating the liturgical calendar and the phases of the moon and followed by certain other pieces germane to the practice of liturgical prayer. The prayer to the Virgin Mary, for example, "Singularis meriti sola sine exemplo mater et uirgo", appears regularly in collections of devotional prayers from as early as the eighth century. Prayer, it would seem, contrary to most dictionary definitions, is more than simply an effort at communication with the divinea speaking to God. In 1666, Henry Howard gifted a number of manuscripts collected by his grandfather, Thomas Howard the 2nd Earl of Arundel, to the Royal Society, which manuscripts the British Library acquired in 1831.