Le blog de la Bergerie,
a French American Catholic world-view, from la Vallée du Haut-Giffre in the French Alps and from San Francisco in California.

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Le Giffre a SIXT-FER-A-CHEVAL     Cascade du Rouget SIXT-FER-A-CHEVAL

A gauche, la rivière de notre vallée : le Giffre, photo prise avant d'arriver au village de Sixt-Fer-A-Cheval, et à droite, la Cascade du Rouget, également à Sixt-Fer-A-Cheval, dans la direction de Salvagny, dans la Vallée du Haut-Giffre, Haute-Savoie, France, photos prises en juillet 2023 par moi. Le village de Sixt-Fer-A-Cheval et sa réserve naturelle sont des merveilles à voir absolument ! C'est un plaisir constant que d'y amener des visiteurs car la vue est à couper le souffle. En plus de la merveille géologique du Cirque du Fer-A-Cheval, il y a aussi le Cirque des Fonts; les cascades (des douzaines et plus, dont la Reine des Alpes: la cascade du Rouget ci-dessus), il y aussi ses traditions d'alpinisme et de randonnées l'été, ainsi que de station de ski l’hiver appartenant au domaine skiable : le Grand Massif, les monts environnants (le Grenier de Commune, le Buet, la Pointe de Sales et d'autres), les nombreux lacs de montagne, les nombreux refuges, ainsi que son patrimoine religieux (dont l'abbaye de Sixt du XIIe siècle, que Saint François de Sales a visité souvent, et l'église Sainte Madeleine, qui constitue depuis 2005 "la paroisse du Bienheureux Ponce en Haut-Giffre" - dont je suis membre!)...

Bemont et Fleurs des champs

Dents Blanches    Arc-en-ciel et Criou

The exquisite "Vallee du Haut-Giffre" in the French Alps! I am back in Vercland.
The first shot is from the road to Bemont; where little flowers in the fields are in full bloom;
les "Dents Blanches" framed by the Tuet on the left and the Criou on the right;
the recent rain having put fresh powder on the surrounding peaks;
and then I got a magnificent full rainbow the other day...
What more could you possibly ask for?

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A short reflection on John of Damascus and Flannery O'Connor, old heresies and current ones... In my Church History class, we are now studying about St John of Damascus powerful writings against the folly of the iconoclasts. He wrote to defend the reasons why images of Christ (and Theotokos and the saints) are permitted. "You're tempting sin" she said "and at the judgement seat of God you'll have to answer for that too". See HERE

heretics and tattoos

My mother: Marguerite, Maman, Mamy.
Little stories and various souvenirs of my dear mother:
1) Introduction: How and Why HERE
2) A French lullaby Here
3) "Kindness", anyone? Here
4) Little snapshots of our journey in the valley
5) Musing on life and the weather HERE
6) A mini-miracle and a long day HERE
7) Do's and Dont's for dementia care-givers  here


"Children are a true gift!” and they both laughed and said I was right. It was a blessed moment of sharing. Of course, it is entirely possible...
Although you can hear about these huge development moments from other people, and you can read all the books you want, once you actually go through them, it makes a profound impact on us. Read more HERE

THE DESCENT: traditional or dissenting? A commentary on "Light in Darkness" from Alyssa Lyra Pitstick . I read it, I engulfed myself in her book after attending her lecture at St. Dominic. And I kept thinking about it. I found it fascinating to read and research this very subject. But He did tell us to keep our eyes on HIM and that it would suffice. Read HERE Descent to Hades

One movie, all about trust and hope in the midst of war and terrible chaos, a gripping drama unfolding, and the impact that one line had on me, as I was sitting in an economy seat at 35,000 feet HERE

snow field and winter trees

My own story wrapped around Tolstoy's story: The context in which I heard about this specific short novel and my own notes at the end. Tolstoy is such a good writer. The story unfolds itself easily and harmoniously, filled with many practical details to make it very real but often hinting at more so we keep paying attention and wonder what is exactly going on. It is all about ethics and morals, about obedience and love, especially love. This story is surprisingly modern.
Read more HERE

"THUNDER AND ME " (La foudre et moi)
This is a short story on what happened to me a couple of days ago. I was stunned but not scared, surprisingly. All of it happened in a split second and it was exceptional and completely new to me and I certainly remember it, Oh! so very clearly.
Read more HERE

Very short, very simple: a couple of steps only...But they go right to the heart of the matter.

Furthermore, I added my own "Litanies of Gratitude and Requests for Continuous Help" for every step of this process, this great adventure, with many links to my favorite saints, many prayers, some in French and some in English. Read it HERE

"As I slowly grasped the fullness of what Jesus was saying, I heard the hush of bewilderment that must have gone over the assembly in the synagogue...."
Since my return to the Church, I have experienced the most amazing love of Scripture. Along the way, I heard and studied the 4 various senses of Scripture and pondered about them.
Read more HERE

Rene Girard
A French-American intellectual who devoted all his researching and reasoning abilities to develop his therory of mimetism. I discovered him late in life, via an article in France Amerique (around the year 2000). Afterwards, I tried to read whatever book of his I could find, in French and in English; by that time, I had returned to the faith myself and I loved how he was able to articulate his anthropological findings in a very christo-centric way. I think he was, and he is, absolutely a fascinating writer.
Read more: Here


1) Kolbe and Truth: HERE
2) Bonhoeffer et l'Intercession: HERE
3) Saint Ephraim & the Transfiguration: here
4) Eucharistic Desire prayer : ici
5) Action de Grâce prayer : ICI
6) Anima Christi :HERE

Full Moon over a Fir Tree
When waiting for the exact right time brings much more than what one expected. Very early one cold Winter morning, a few years ago, I was able to take a good shot of a full moon and, in the process, learned quite a few things about my global family. Read it Here
Full moon over a fir tree

Waters of the Earth and Streams of Faith
There is a beautiful parallel in between the waters of the earth (waves of the ocean, lakes and snow and rain drops on a flower) all of them essential for the physical survival of the planet and the human race, and the streams of faith (prayers, the sacrements, the liturgy, Scripture, the Communion of Saints) which are as essential for the health of our soul and for the world ! See my commentaries and my photo essay HERE

7) Meditations Christocentriques et le Pacifique en 2011 ici in French; in 2014 HERE in English; similar musings, same location (Ocean Beach at the end of my street), same topic, with a constant conclusion!
8) Veni Sancte Spiritu : Here
9) Guardini or "Brimming with life" : HERE
10) A prayer of silence HERE (my own prayer)

A Moment of Terror in my Room: Alone, in the dark, I went from normal to terror in a few seconds... Everything can change so very quickly! We think we know what is going on and how easily we can become confused and bewildered. Read more here
terror in my room

Les Psaumes (or Psalms in English):

Psalm 1   HERE     (in English)

Psaume 1   ICI     (en français)

Psaume 51   ICI     (en français)

Psaume 139   ICI     (en français)

11) Trinitarian prayer before sleep (my own prayer) (with photos and meditations!) little THANK YOU NOTES at the end of the day before going to sleep Here


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