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204. Dec. 3/16,1975B St. Sabbas of Zvenigorod

Dear Alexey,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ.

John Hudanish was here and said you were busy on Nikodemos—I hope we’ll see it soon? Which reminds me—must start getting to you the tapes on Sederholm. Hope to do so within a few weeks. How does Nikodemos feel right now? How about money?

John Hudanish—a “typical American convert”—may God grant him patience and gratitude in sufferings, there is no other way. The ones who go off don’t want that and refuse to accept it. Our Christopher (who left Saturday) is one such, but perhaps as he grows up he will learn. He is terribly immature and just totally spoiled, more so than most.

We have been so busy on printing (about a week to go on the Calendar) that we haven’t thought much about the outside world, but rumblings do get to us about the “big question” (which is a rather difficult one to define!) Our Vladika Averky cover seems definitely to have put us into a certain “category”—which is probably for the best. We feel now some indefinably “weight” resting on us, as if we are carrying the brunt of a “battle” whose front lines are not dear. Probably our isolation (in several senses) makes us better able to bear this weight, so we thank God. Around Fr. Panteleimon there seems to be some cloud that prevents even sober people from thinking too clearly or somehow “handling” the situation, and we have received several indications that the older generation expects us to say the right “word” when the time comes. May God give us strength. Vladika John blessed and named our Orthodox Word, so we go forward trusting in him. Basically we are peaceful, and very full of work.

We’ve had little snow, and the last bit is melting today; our road has been open most of the time. God willing, we will expect you for our feast. Pray for us.

With love in Christ.
Seraphim, monk

P.s. Enclosed one of John H’s letters. The other Russian text is the Moscow Patriarchate text on Old Believers, which we haven’t read yet.

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