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075. March 21/April 3, 1971. Praise of the Mother of God

Dear Father in Christ Panteleimon,


Enclosed is our letter to Vladika Laurus, to which we have not yet received a reply. There is no new development in our “case” as yet.

Our Staretz, Archimandrite Spyridon, is planning to come to us for a week or more — from Annunciation to Palm Sunday, and then just after Pascha (he has to serve Passion Week and Pascha in Palo Alto), and so, God willing, we shall have the Divine Liturgy several times here.

Glory be to God for everything! In all our trials, we become more and more conscious that something is happening that is far beyond us. What the end will be, God alone knows, and it is in His hands. We begin to get a rather definite idea that “Synodal opinion” does not place much confidence in our future. In February Archimandrite Cyprian wrote us from Jordanville, advising us to pack up as soon as possible and come to Jordanville, because we are in danger of falling into prelest, and because Jordanville is dying off and in ten years there won’t be anyone left to do the work. Recently Fr. Vladimir also began hinting that we would be best off in Jordanville, and Vladika Laurus last year also emphasized how much they need people there. With all respect to Jordanville, to which we are absolutely devoted, we are so conscious of the blessing of Vladika John to trod a different path, that we can only accept the opinion of these respected fathers as a “temptation” to get us off our path. The devil, it appears, is trying his utmost to get us out of here, and we are thereby all the more convinced that we are where we should be. Two days ago, as if we didn’t have problems enough already, I met an Indian at the Post Office in Platina, who asked me what we were building, and when I replied “A chapel,” he told me, “this land belongs to us Indians, and I’ll do everything I can to stop you.” I don’t know exactly what he meant, but as we are unarmed and two miles from the nearest neighbor, it is not difficult to imagine what could be done to us. And so we are literally reduced to trusting in God and the protection of our patrons, St. Herman and Vladika John. May God s holy will be done!

With love in Christ our Savior,
Seraphim, Monk

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