Disclaimer: In some of our articles, especially under the Modern Issues section, we present readers with challenging issues to examine, reflect upon and research. The material is neither supported nor rejected by us, and no one is responsible for its content, other than the original source. Therefore readers are requested not to make any complaints, but to take time to reflect on the material from an Orthodox perspective.

182. Aug. 24/Sept. 6, 1975. St. Peter of Moscow

Dear Alexey,

Greetings on your patronal feast. May the holy Martyrs be with you and help you in the difficult days ahead!

Your handling of Barbara McC. seems to be just right! In general, for her and for all of you in general: the less you think of “spiritual life” (in the abstract) and the more you are just struggling in the labors of daily life, praying “according to your strength” (i.e., no “vigils every day,” as Barbara once expressed the desire!), the better for you. Orient yourself towards zealous Orthodoxy, and then just struggle from day to day, and God will give you wisdom. I’m glad if our letter gave B. a little “jolt,” but one must be sober and not expect great “spiritual events.” If she can settle down and live a quiet life this winter, not by herself, this is already an accomplishment. If she wants to share Nina’s life later on, she will have to come to this of her own account.

About our trip to Etna: something else came up, and printing on Northern Thebaid still has not been finished, so it will probably be another two weeks. In the meantime, our local mechanic will be starting on our old green truck, for which we have located a cheap motor—if we had known such a motor could have been obtained, we would never have started the long and fruitless adventure with our “old blue,” which still sits idle because it has not a GMC engine, but some rare old Chevrolet one for which parts can’t be obtained.

Last Sunday we visited Phanourios Ingram in Castella. He left a very good impression—very much in our “Northern California Orthodox” spirit, cut off from everybody and trembling over his own salvation. His wife and two small children are all Orthodox. They were baptized in the Greek Archdiocese church in San Jose, but when he saw our S. F. Cathedral and its services for the first time, he felt his home was in “Russian Orthodoxy.” Now, perhaps he has not written you yet?—he moved to Etna two days after our visit! Rather, he will be living 15 miles south on some guest ranch, where he will be a handyman and his wife a waitress. He seems very shy and may delay in making contact (his wife on the other hand, is very out-going!); but doubtless your contact with him will be profitable for both of you.
Gregory Moshnin and Fr. Sergius told us they would be coming here about Sept. 7, so it will be presumably be after their visit to you. (Wait—we just heard from them that they’ll see us Mon. or Tues.)

About Fr. Panteleimon in Boston—alas, alas, alas, the calamity we have been fearing seems near at hand; Vladika Averky writes us a despairing letter about “this brazen young archimandrite” and his latest actions; we are awaiting news from Vladika Laurus before saying more. But be prepared for shocks! Fr. P. seems to be strengthening his “hold” over the “young Orthodox,” based on his “charismatic” presence, from which few seem capable of recovering.
Please pray for the boy Sergius—the son of Fr. Valery Lukianov of N.J. He returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on last Monday—being struck down with Meningitis on the return trip. He is in the hospital and may not live. He was an exceptionally pious boy. His father writes begging for prayers, with tears but saying— “Let Gods will be done.” Please pray for him when you are all together—we sang the supplicatory canon to the Mother of God for him today.
With love in Christ,

P.s. Little Gleb begs us not to send him home, and he is so obedient and eager that… velope to us) and giving him schooling mostly in various aspects of English. Could you obtain for us some 6th-grade mathematics book, or something to give an indication of what is expected in math? Anything else for 6th grade? He is very bright, but got all D’s and F’s last year, and they passed him anyway!

Download PDF