Book review: Toward the Endless Day – I love France 183

 Toward the Endless Day:
The Life of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel


Toward the endless day

Author: Olga Lossly
Translator: Jerry Ryan
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Release date: 2010
“Vers le jour sans déclin”
was first released in French in 2007
Pages: 344
ISBN: 9780-268-03385-9
Genre: Nonfiction/
History – Byzantine & Orthodox
Religion & Theology – Christianity


Visit the publisher’s page for Table of Contents, Reviews, and  Excerpt



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Until 1582, all Christians used to celebrate Easter  on the same date. That year, a new calendar was adopted in Western countries, leading then Catholics and others to calculate the date of Easter in a different way from the Orthodox, who kept to the original calculation.
Henceforth, some years, in 2017 for instance, Easter is celebrated by all on the same date.
This year 2016, the Orthodox Pascha will be celebrated on May 1st! Therefore, as our Catholic brothers and sisters are almost done with Lent, today is actually the very first day of Lent for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
I’d like then to wish a Blessed Great Lent to all Eastern Orthodox Christians, on this “Clean Monday“.
This is another interesting difference: whereas the beginning of Lent is on Ash Wednesday for Catholics, when they receive on the forehead a dark mark made of ashes to remind them of death, the Great Orthodox Lent starts with Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα): along with a service of mutual forgiveness the day before in Church (Forgiveness Sunday), they are invited today, through a strict fast, to start this blessed liturgical time with a “katharsis”, a cleansing of their conscience and renewed love.

I chose this day to present to you a unique person, in fact the most important woman Orthodox theologian of the 20th century. She happens to have lived most of her life in France. Unfortunately, she is not too well known in the United States, not even among Orthodox Christians, even though Towards The Endless Day, her biography, was already translated and published in English six years ago!
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Bout of Books 13: Cover Color Challenge

Bout of Books 13#boutofbooks

Click on the logo to see the schedule and participants

Today’s challenge,

Cover Color Challenge,

is hosted by Wishful Endings

THE CHALLENGE: Find four books with covers almost completely in that color/those colors.

I chose blue, one of my favorite colors:

Cover Color Challenge



Short Eastern Orthodox Book Reviews

I’m glad to post religious reviews today, for the Feast of the Nativity. The following are books I enjoyed very much; unfortunately, I don’t have time to write a long review for each, if I want to catch up with the reviews of all the books I read in 2013 before the end of the year!

Year of Grace of The Lord

The Year of Grace of The Lord:
A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary
on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church

Lev Gillet
aka A Monk of Eastern Church
Translated by Deborah Cowan


Publisher: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN: 978-0913836682

Genre: Nonfiction / religion


Buy Link

As the subtitle clearly states, the book follows the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church, starting on September 1st, and through 7 chapters comments on each feast, with its meaning and the meaning of the scriptural passages attributed to each feast.

Lev GilletThere’s always a very simple and refreshing style to Lev Gillet, and it has always been a delight for me to read his meditations on Scripture. He always comes up with deep and simple ideas and images, and make you see things in a different perspective, full of pure goodness from the heart. I inserted here his picture, as I believe you can see the goodness of the man on his face.
You can read more about this fascinating man here. His biography by Elisabeth Behr Sigel is amazing!

I’d like to quote here a few passages:

The 3 conversionsLight at Easter

An external event, be it even the Resurrection of our Lord, has no practical value for souls unless it translates itself, in them, into an increase of that inner Light which must direct our whole life.

We are justified by faith, but faith is nothing unless it transforms our life, unless it bears fruit, and leads to holiness.


Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses

Therapy if Spiritual Illnesses
Jean-Claude Larchet
Translated by Kilian Sprecher


Publisher: Alexander Press
Pub. Date: 2012
ISBN: 1896800394

Genre: Nonfiction / religion


Buy Link

As mentioned in my previous post on vol.1, I read this book in French many years ago. Not sure why, but the recent English edition came out in a 3 volume box set. I recently finished the 2nd volume, which deals with the movement from illness to health again, though the Sacraments and different means of implementation of the therapy.

The subtitle tells you more about the vast fresco of this book: An Introduction to the Ascetic Tradition of the Eastern Church.

The book covers ALL the themes related to Orthodox theology and spirituality, it is a mine full of tons of riches and multiple Patristic quotations.

The Table of Contents of the 3 volumes will give you a better idea: