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178. May 23/June 5, 1975. St. Leontius of Rostov

Dear Alexey–

Enclosed, at last, is my working over of Part I of the evolution [book] (which I read this morning to Fr. Herman, and he approved). (I finally got my “two days in Valaam,”) This should be (once you revise the later sections) just about a “next-to last” version. All of this material (including the last section which I didn’t send you, on “How Evolution Came to Be”) should comprise Part I of the book, as in the enclosed outline. I want to revise “How Evolution Came to Be” and insert many of my own notes on Western intellectual history of the past several centuries, which I won’t do for a little while, however. Then all that remains is the patristic section, for which I need at least a “week in Valaam” — hopefully at least part of it during the summer. Could you type your final version of Part I in 2 copies and keep one yourself for a while? We would hate for it to be lost in the mail when it’s been worked on so much, and also I’d like to show it to someone else for comments — perhaps to Kalomiros, perhaps to a friend [Zavarin] of ours in S. F. with scientific training (who is pro-evolutionist).

Christopher left us two days ago for the first leg of his pilgrimage, to Canada. He got worse before he left, just plain defiantly lazy and self-willed, and I gave up on him; but Fr. Herman gave him a real talking-to, with the result that he got scared and now has asked us to help him get on the path to salvation. He is supposed to return in 3 weeks and undertake a “course” under Fr. Herman together with the new convert [Symeon Hill] from LA (whom Susan met here on her last visit). But God knows whether he’ll return, or how much he really wants to struggle. Most of our converts seem so weak, almost ready to collapse at a moment’s notice; which means the rest of us must struggle the harder, and when possible, drag some of the weaker ones along! We can see in John the same spiritual outlook which produces the older “weaklings,” and in fact Christopher say himself in John. John has improved in many ways, but requires discipline in order to keep him for relapsing into total laziness.

I’m sending separately the Scientific Creationism book, from which you could profitably take a number of points and quotes, as indicated in my notes.

I’ll try to get some Kireyevsky notes to you in a week. But please don’t use the Starets Lev article yet — it undoubtedly requires some revision from other sources.

Pray for us. The summer looks to be busy, and keeping a community of 5 or 6 or more “weaklings” in order requires much energy. We keep hoping that out of all this “crop” of young converts there will turn out to be one or two with the possibility of developing his own backbone and being of use to others, but so far there isn’t any such one.

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

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