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166. Nov. 21, 1974. Entry into the Temple

Dear Father Ephraim,
Evologeite! Greetings on the Feast of the Most Holy Theotokos.

We read with joy your recent letter to us, and pray that the Elder is recovering well. May God preserve him for many years of fruitful labors in Christ’s vineyard.

What we’ve been hearing about the recent Sobor doesn’t strike us too well: Metropolia, Old Believers, etc. A step backward instead of to forward? Let us know your impressions. We hope to talk to Vlad. Nektary soon about it — so far all we’ve heard from him is that it was a “pale” (i.e., gray) Sobor.

Our friend Paul Bartlett, who will be visiting you shortly and hopefully baptized there, has asked us to write you a short note confirming that he spent two weeks with us this fall and is not an entire newcomer to Orthodox life. Yes, he spent two weeks with us and this helped him make the decision to seek baptism. He still has much to learn, and still has quite an intellectualized approach (more from Protestant rationalist background than Roman Catholicism, in which he spent several years); hopefully, his stay with you will mellow him further. I hope you or one of the Fathers will have time to talk a little with him from time to time (“have conferences” is the way he puts it!). May God grant him the wisdom and humility to accept true Orthodoxy with his whole heart and soul. He worked hard while he was here — in fact a little too hard, as he was still recovering from an operation.

Two translation questions: have you made or do you have a translation of the whole Life of St. Simeon the New Theologian by Nicetas Stethatos (100 pages long)? And 2: We’ve heard you have something of St. Theodore Studite in English. What and how much? Is it from his Great Catechesis? If you have these things, can we get a copy?

Winter is at hand, and as usual we are unprepared; but hopefully from fools in the wilderness nothing here is expected. We ask your and the Elders prayers.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

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