Books in English

As of October 2016, the following 7 books are available in English, having been published by Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon. The books are available from the publishers as well as from good booksellers.

The Silence of God during the Passion



At first sight [the Father’s silence]during the Passion has something troubling or even shocking about it since it seems the silence of absence. It may seem troubling, but we need to pass over this first impression; when we consider it a little more closely, approaching it in prayer, the silence is revealed as extremely rich, of surprising beauty, of such depth of humble love as to turn our ideas upside down, and we become immersed in the silence of contemplation and adoration.

God’s silence during the Passion is his silence before men, to be sure, and particularly before Christ in his perfect and total humanity, but it is not this alone; there is much more; it is also the Father’s silence before the Son, which is to say, it is a silence instinct within the inexpressible mystery of the Trinity . . . It is here that the silence is transfigured; it comes before us as infinitely more profound than the silences of earth. It is a silence beyond words and beyond all silence, a silence of unfathomable depth, that of Trinitarian intimacy. Who am I to speak of this? What could I say? Nothing, except that, since in God everything is love, including his silence, it cannot be other than a silence of love, the silence of the Father’s ineffable love for the Son . . . (from the introduction)

The Tenderness of God



The tenderness of God . . . these simple words are so great, so far beyond understanding, so holy, that there is little to do but prostrate oneself on the ground in silence! Such a subject certainly cannot be approached as simply a theme for reflection to satisfy our intellectual curiosity; it is a mystery, an unfathomable mystery, which plunges us into the depths of the heart of God . . . The tenderness of God; the subject is enough to cause one’s lips to be sealed forever in humble silence . . . I would never have dared to speak of such a great mystery had I not been invited to do so by my spiritual father, Father Etienne, who one day said to me simply, “You know, Daniel, it would be good if you spoke to us about the tenderness of God.” I accepted this word in profound silence and I prayed . . . Another factor which impels me to write is the thirst for tenderness among the people around us; there are so many, young and old, who are ready to undertake almost anything, do anything, no matter what, because of this longing; and for so many of them, young and old, it becomes a hopeless search; they never suspect, far less know, that the most extraordinary tenderness is God’s, that the very source of all tenderness is in him.

“I am moved inwardly.” Here God reveals to us that he is deeply moved, inwardly. It is God himself who, on one hand, unveils his tenderness . . .  he who hides from one and unveils to other, as it seems best to him. We need simply to take this in and be silent, as was Jeremiah before such a great mystery. Jeremiah is silent before something God had never previously revealed in such terms. God veils and unveils at one and the same time in a great mystery, a mystery which we see incarnated in Jesus Christ, the mystery which was hidden since before the foundation of the world and unveiled in the fullness of time, [Jesus] the tenderness of God incarnated . . . To watch the Father wiping tears away from every face could not but birth in us an immense tenderness towards him. We will then be overwhelmed with this tenderness and in an instant our hearts, until then so hard and insensitive to the tenderness of God, will become soft and tender. We will be transformed in our hearts by this act alone, and our innermost beings moved with tenderness . . .




Becoming a disciple



. . . when he called his disciples, Jesus invited them to follow him, to march behind him. Later he invited them to come a little nearer, to come alongside him, to take up the same yoke. Finally, on the evening before his passion, believing that his disciples were ready to hear something still greater, Jesus began to speak to them of a bond of unsurpassable depth, not simply “behind” him, not “alongside” him, but “in” him! . . . We in him and he in us; what is this saying? . . . Allowing ourselves to be loved by Christ means opening up to him, committing ourselves to him, abandoning ourselves to him in full confidence, knowing that his love is for every day and not occasional, that it is continuing like the sap in the branch, but also hidden, unseen and even imperceptible, beyond our awareness . . . Nevertheless, even if it is more often than not unperceived, Jesus tells us there is no greater love than his . . . . . we have so many reticences, brakes, blockages and at times even refusals . . . How long it takes to become truly a disciple, fully a disciple, much longer than for a branch to be a branch! . . . [but] happy are they who know themselves loved unceasingly, day and night, infinitely! Happy are they who know that the love of Christ is fully sufficient for life, and who live by this! (from ch.3 Abide in me)



Repentance — Good News!




Praying the Psalms



“I” have so many questions about prayer! “I” am prepared to scour the earth in search of a teacher and a school of prayer, but sensing beforehand it would surely be fruitless . . .

Who will teach us to pray? To this question the Bible proposes an answer that is amazing, unprecedented and wonderful:

the one who will teach us to pray is none other than God himself . . .

How does God go about teaching us to pray? What is his method, how does he teach? It’s not by coming to conduct a course on prayer, though he might and we would be happy about it; no, he does much better; he demonstrates his own prayer, he gives it to us; not just one prayer, but a hundred and fifty! What he gives us is the Book of Psalms, and the Book of Psalms is in fact 150 prayers of God, offered to us . . . In the kingdom of prayer, there are 150 entranceways; we may go in by any one of them and each time we will discover God in a different aspect . . . Were you looking for the words to pray? They are here! All the words for prayer are in this Book of Psalms, those of trust, of thanksgiving, of repentance, of praise, of pain, of compassion, of intercession, every facet of private prayer and also of communal . . .

Such is the Book of Psalms . . . a studio of prayer where God stands to behold his work, a school of prayer with 150 entrances . . . What place has our poor prayer beside these 150 treasures? . . . Our personal prayer is that before which God guards the deepest silence, to which he listens with infinite attention. Our personal prayer is Psalm 151! In this prayer, God contemplates the splendor which is ours; in it he recognizes the fruit of his grace.




From Darkness to Light



Here is a brigand who is converted at the hour of his death. This should cause us to reflect on the death of less respectable folk, even notorious pagans. Here is a man on his way to paradise when all the world would consign him to hell. Here is a man who dies sanctified by a word from Jesus . . . only Jesus cares, as a shepherd cares for each of his sheep, even the sheep that is lost. Blessed Jesus! . . . No-one other than the Spirit can bring us into the intimacy of the Father and the Son, because, in God, this intimacy of Father and Son is shared with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit alone can introduce us into the trinitarian intimacy . . . There is no pathway of conversion without the breath of the Holy Spirit . . . With his last prayer, Christ teaches the thief how to die and through this teaching accompanies him in death . . . Death has no power. The thief may freely offer his spirit to God in a supreme liberty which despoils death of its prize.

Many centuries before Christ, perhaps a thousand years, a man was dying, one Heman, who fulfilled the function of singer in the temple in Jerusalem . . . All his life he had stood before God in the sanctuary and had grown in his faith and love for God to such a degree that we can speak of a real intimacy. . . I bless God for this psalm; the prayer is a real treasure, a miracle of faith which I receive with wonderment and thankfulness. It creates in us a thirst for a similar closeness with God; it awakens in us a deep compassion for the dying; it prepares us for the day of our own death . . . in his grace God can strengthen our faith by his Holy Spirit through these words . . . To whom should we turn to teach us to pray this psalm in its profound truth and to live it out fully . . . I can’t see anyone other than Christ himself. Like every good Israelite, Jesus prayed all the psalms including this one. He would have prayed it many times in his life, following the practice of the Jewish liturgy. He appropriated it and was impregnated with it to the point that in his death he begins to resemble what is described here . . .  So, I marvel again and bless God still more for this prayer.

“Light be!” God said on the dawn of the world’s first morning, and light was. Mary enters the garden early in the morning on the first day of the week, in the dawning light. It is the hour when the Father, in silence, ponders afresh the newly created light, while the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters . . . She turns to see the Living One, then she turns again, as if in an internal dance, to unceasingly contemplate the Well-Beloved.


Spiritual Maladies