Monday, August 22, 2011

New book blog

Thanks for stopping by!

Please go to my new book blog:

And the virtual book tours I organize for books (all genres and formats) related to France (books set in France, or on a French topic, or even books translated from the French!), are here: 

Sorry, I have to keep this blog up [for some comments that require a google account blog], but I now post all my reviews on

See you there, it's a very active blog, where I post regularly about books and also France!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last post here

My blog has moved, for today's post on Matthew The Poor, go to
Please be sure to change your RSS feed if you are following me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, p.33

Apart from my personal reading for Lent this year, see my other posts of Orthodox Prayer Life by Matthew the Poor, every night, after our Vespers prayer, my husband and I read to each other a few pages of this classic by Schmemann.
By the way, reading aloud to each other is a wonderful experience - we usually alternate a paragraph each. We started doing this on the 1st day of Lent, and I have the feeeling we'll go on after Lent.

So yesterday, we had this gem:

"Sad brightness:
the sadness of the exile,
of the waste I have made of my life;
the brightness of God's presence and forgiveness,
the joy of the recovered desire for God,
the peace of the recovered home.
Such is the climate of lenten worship;
such is its first and general impact
on my soul."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Matthew The Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life, pp.35-40

"Through prayer,
our will becomes like that of Christ...

Prayer is an effective power
that brings us into contact
with the Christ
who is actually present within us...

If, in physical matters,
nakedness carries with itself so great a shame,
how much more shame for the person
that is naked of divine power,
who does not wear
nor is clothed
with the ineffable and imperishable spiritual garment,
the Lord Jesus Christ Himself?
St Macarius the Great, Homily 20

The stance of prayer by itself,
whether in one's chamber
or in church,
is indeed a standing before the presence of God.
It is entering
into the sphere of the heavenly hosts
as they praise and minister."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Matthew The Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life, pp.25-31

"We must also know that every secret converse,
evry good care of the intellect
directed toward God
and every meditation upon spiritual things
is delimited by prayer,
is called by the name of prayer,
and under its name is comprehended...

In its true essence,
prayer is a communion with the heavenly host
in praising their Creator.
It will surely end up as such
when all things are put in subjection to God the Father...

When we delve deeply into the life of prayer,
we end up with the conviction that
it is an act of glorifying God,
a divine ministry of transcendent honor....

The foundation of prayer
is paying absolute honor to God's will:
'Thy Will be done,
on earth as It is in heaven.'
For this reason,
prayer inevitable demands that
man relinquish his own will:
'Not my own will,
but Thine be done' (Lk 22.42)...

Without prayer,
man loses the meaning of his existence
and the purpose of his creation."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Matthew The Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life, pp.23-24

"Prayer begins on God's part as a secret call to stand before Him.
We then carry it as a free response in our yearning to speak with Him.
Afterward, prayer assumes its divine purpose
as an act of repentance and purification.
It subsequently attains its ultimate goal
as a sacrifice of love and humility
that prepares us for fellowship with God...

Prayer is the condition in which we discover our own image,
on which the stamp of the Holy Trinity is impressed...

When we lose prayer,
we actually lose the glory of our image,
and we no longer resemble God in any way."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From Bishop Jonah's 2010 lettre for Great Lent

This letter is very powerful and deep.
Here is the link to it:

And here is something that talks to me a lot in it:
"The goal of repentance is the transformation of our minds and hearts,
our very consciousness.
It means the transformation of our whole life.
To engage it means that we have to embrace change".