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087. Aug. 3/16, 1971. St. Anthony the Roman

Dear Brother in Christ, Laurence,
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the Lord!

Congratulations with the namesday child. We are sending him an inscribed copy of vol. 6 of the OW, so he can clearly see what we are doing.

The calendar has been sent to Nicholas Mabin, airmail. Time is fast approaching when we must either print it or give up the project for this year. First we must finish two OWs, the first of which has been begun. Pray for us!

Response from the Russian OW has been very disappointing. Have the Russians really lost all sense of what a podvizhnik is?

We’ve apparently reached the peak of the pilgrim season. Yesterday we had a surprise visit from our nearest Orthodox neighbors, the Harveys of Redding (a Russian woman married to an American, at whose baptism by Vladika John, it turns out, I was present). Mrs. Harvey knows much about Vladika’s Shanghai days and says, “Vladika performed so many miracles that we took them for granted, and most of them are not written down.”

Last week Fr. Neketas visited us for 2 days and served Liturgy twice, once at midnight, Greek style; Fr. Sergius from San Diego arrived in time for the second Liturgy. Now there is a real priest who puts our Russians to shame. From what he says, added to what we’ve already heard, it would seem that he is not at all in favor with the Archbishop — why, is a mystery, but it’s sad.

Our cool summer finally became warm (but not really hot) for a month, until last week when we had three days at 98 degrees (the hottest since we’ve been here), with 80 degrees at night, and we felt in a constant state of fever. But that was all, and today one feels already an early-autumn coolness in the air. Mrs. Harvey confirms our fears of a hard winter — there’s an abnormal amount of butterflies on the highway! (I don’t know whether that’s Russian folklore or what!) Anyway, we expect that God’s kindness to us our first two winters is about to change to strictness, and the problem of firewood and winterproofing what buildings we have is about to be undertaken in earnest. Problems of chicken coops and hens also stand before us.

We got two more rattlesnakes after your departure, which cause us to “walk circumspectly.” We also struck up an acquaintance with a small owl who came at dusk two nights looking for our mice. We even talked to him, and he answered 4 or 5 times with a clucking sound, until he got tired of answering the same question so much.

How goes your resolve to abandon the world, both within and without yourself?

•. Pray for us.

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

P.s. We’re sending you a book on forced labor in USSR: please xerox it (you’ll probably find it interesting reading too) and send it to the address below. The Meteora book is for you to read; bring it back with you your next trip.

Mr. Y. Gabriel Jegoroff
932 1/2 Margaret St.
Monterey, Calif. 93940

[Fr. Herman’s note:] rush, hurry up! quick, as soon as possible, immediately, at once, fast, NOW!

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