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100. Mar. 21/Apr. 3, 1972/ Passion Monday

Dear Brother in Christ, Laurence,

Glory be to God for all things! We had Liturgy yesterday, but a joyful feast nonetheless, with 3 pilgrims (Alexey and family). We also received, on Saturday, a very moving letter from Vladika Anthony, which reveals a loving heart. After it something of the empty pit in the bottom of the stomach seems to have been removed. Nonetheless we thank God that in His Providence the events of the past year and a half have cut us off, as it were, from the ecclesiastical world and left us to make it on our own in the wilderness; this is only for our good and perhaps even the good of others.

Unless we hear something before then to change our plans, we will most likely go to Sacramento early Thursday in order to receive Holy Communion (probably in the smaller church), and return here before dark, creating as small a ripple as possible on the church surface. God willing, we will meet Pascha externally (at least) like the desert-dwellers, even though internally still our old selves.

But if one of our “problems” seems to be looking better, new troubles have not been slow in peeking their heads over the horizon. Fr. G. Grabbe writes that one does not dare call anyone “Blessed” before the Church gives us the right to do so, and he cites the case of St. John of Kronstadt. But for all his correctness, G. G. is wrong! — the Church does not call anyone blessed by fiat — that’s R. Cath. “beatification” (as on back cover of latest Orth Life!). St. John of Kr. still is not called blessed, because he doesn’t fit into that category. Fools for Christ are called blessed even during their lifetimes: Bl. Xenia, Bl. Theophilus, etc. etc. Of course, there are those who wouldn’t like to call Vlad. John a fool for Christ, and in fact (that’s the key!) would rather forget him entirely. But we stand and fall with his “foolishness,” which surely one day will be seen to be wiser than the wisdom of many. But we are being watched….

Pray for us.

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

P.S. Whenever you come, don’t forget another box of lead.

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