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161. July 24/Aug. 6, 1974

Dear Michael [Farnsworth],
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ.

My child, you are deceiving yourself and going the way of perdition. I will not be falsely “kind” and hide this fact from you. You talk about helping others, but you are leading them to perdition. Do you know how much John d’Anci wept when he came to us and realized that of course you would not be here to help him? And what an added temptation you were to him by being in the world and offering him a chance to escape commitment together with you? And do you know that by “preaching the faith” to Bradford and then sinning with him, you have inoculated him against Christ? And now you think you are going to save Stefan?

Wake up, my child, if you still can. You have detected a “distance” between us that you do not understand. That is the distance you yourself have placed by choosing your own way and rejecting everyone who has tried to guide you. It is the same “distance” which later on, or even now, you will feel with Vladika Nektary and with all true Orthodox Christians, and then with Holy Orthodoxy itself. You justify yourself to yourself with the argument that you are somehow “special.” Your human problems are too much for you and must be allowed to develop themselves out before you can really choose Christ. No, my child, you are not “special” — a thousand “crazy converts” have already gone that way, and you are joining them.

Forgive my harsh words. I speak them because I really love you and do not wish you to be lost. I do not cease to pray for my erring child, but I cannot be a father to you unless you come to me and obey me. I will gladly suffer with you and for you, but it will do you no good unless you give up your own understanding of how to live.

This last weekend we were visited by a zealous priest from the East Coast. What a deep fellow- feeling between us, based on commitment and zeal and deep suffering — to all of which you will remain a stranger as long as you trust yourself.

May God save you from perdition.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

I am praying for the unenlightened Stefan. Do not deceive him further.

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