Dear M.! Matushka!
I am even afraid to call you by this name. Matushkas are coming up with new “batiushkas,” and batiushkas are looking for adventure.
And the children? The children are not wanted by anyone, not by matushka, even less by batiushka — they are raised by the streets and television, or their parents’ example. That is how it is, Matushka.
While life — cross-bearing — is just the fable of fanatics, whose numbers are ever shrinking in Russia. Isn’t this so, dear Matushka?
May the Lord make you wise. You have borne much already — do not run away from your life’s cross. Only through it will you be saved.
Dear Fr. V.!
I received your letter. It is wrong to treat holy chrism as you do.
You need to wipe the brush with the sponge which you use to wash the anointed areas of the baptized, and cleanse the sponge in the water used to baptize, then pour out this water into a clean place. (Meaning, an area which is not used or trod upon by people or animals. Most churches and monasteries have a special well built with a covering and cross to indicate its ecclesiastical designation [trans.]) Neither should you forever anoint yourself with it — a person is only anointed with chrism once, at his baptism, and that is all; well, and during coronation for the throne.
But you seem to be our only exception — a wrongful one.
May God give you wisdom!
Dear in the Lord Fr. S.!
I am fulfilling your request for yourself and your sister. You need to increase your prayers for your sister and her daughters, but limit your help only to this. For now, prayer is the most effective thing she needs. For, until she comes to reason, the truth will just slip through her fingers.