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.

224. June 10/23, 1976C St. John of Tobolsk

Dear Father Alexis,


Thank you for the copies of the various letters. They help to clarify the picture somewhat.

Andrew’s letter has one great virtue: it is straightforward and honest; he says what he thinks. With such a one one may argue or even fight, perhaps, without coming to disaster; and one has the impression that he will listen if one speaks to him from the heart. You fault him for rising up against the clergy—but really, that’s not the basic problem here; he’s afraid that “the fanatics are taking over,” and whether real or imaginary, that’s the fear that should be handled and calmed. I don’t know if it’ helps to show him “logically” that the ones he fears as somehow “fanatics” are really models of Orthodox correctness. We don’t know any of these people, but we do know many converts who grasp at “correctness” like a baby’s bottle, and I think they could save their souls better by being a little “incorrect,” but humbler.

This is not an “argument”—just a few reflections to share with you.

As for you: yes, you plugged all the loopholes, except one: the one in your heart. Keep it open, and one day…

Father Herman instructs me to tell you: Orthodoxy is a mystery of God’s love which cannot be defined; fear to lose it. If ever you should be in trouble, we will give you refuge.

With love and sympathy in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

Download PDF