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181. Aug. 15/28, 1975. Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

Dear Sister in Christ, Barbara,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ on the Feast of His Most Holy Mother!
Please do not think anyone is trying to “push” you, God forbid! It is already clear enough that there is no unity of mind and soul between you and Nina and there never will be. There has to be something closer to it in the beginning or it just never develops! There is no point in trying.

But that, of course, leaves you very much alone, which is spiritually dangerous. It would be far wiser for you to return to Rochester, where at least you have someone with whom you are spiritually close. You have done enough for Nina; now let her get settled in her own way. But you should not remain alone, separated from the Orthodox community for almost the whole week—you are just asking for spiritual trouble! The devil has had 7000 years of experience in spiritual warfare with mankind, and you—just a couple of years. You are a freshman, and he will twist you around his fingers. Even if you do not fall into a spectacular delusion, pride will develop in you, quite unnoticeably to you, until it attains unmanageable proportions, which neither you nor others will then be able to correct. Better to stay now with Barbara Rogers and lead a modest life in the city for a while than to tempt the devil by living by yourself before you are ready—and you aren’t ready for it, even at five days a week!
But this is only advice; take it as you wish.

We ask for your prayers. May God preserve you in His grace—

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

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