Letter From Brother Christopher
This letter from a Brother Christopher was found in Samuel David Allen’s probation file. There is a link to to the document above. However, since the handwritten letter is difficult to read, Pokrov has included a typed translation of the text below.
Martyrs Acepsimas, Joseph, and Aeithalas of Persia
Dear Br. Samuel,
Greetings in Christ –
I am writing this letter from Wildwood, -15 miles from our monastery in Platina. I haven’t been back there for a few days so I can’t send to the O.W. & any books but I do want to answer your letter now. The books will send off from Platina later.
In my first letter I wanted to tell you that I am a member of Christ the Savior Brotherhood – on an extended leave of absence to pursue a monastic calling – but it felt like adding too much in one letter. I know Fr. Christopher and most of the Brothers, Sisters & Priests of the fomer H.O.O.M. I knew Fr. Paul too — having been a member of the order for 17 years. My experience of the Illumination hasn’t been as intensly “visual” as yours and still remains somewhat of a mystery to me – though I saw the light in my initial experience and a few times later its been more of a walk of faith in Christ for me and a struggle.
My soul feels “at home” in Orthodoxy — fully so — and many of my experiences in the H.O.O.M. are being enriched and “unfolded” as I struggle to live according to the commandments of Christ and grow in the “good ground” of Orthodox Services and Tradition.
I’ve never heard anything in the Orthodox tradition about “putting aside” (“putting aside” struck out in original) “dispensing” with anything that has been handed down. In fact the warning is strong — from the words of the Apostle Paul right down to our present day — “Hold to the tradition you have been taught whether by word or or letter….” Also — as far as I know — St. Symeon the New Theologian — whose experinece of Light is one of the most profound I’ve ever heard of anywhere — venerated icons every day of his life and would never have thought of not doing so.
Actually — please pray for the Order, for all the Brothers and Sisters — recall all the good and true experiences you have had and beg God to have mercy and continue to shed His grace on the Brotherhood.
May His grace and blessing be with you — now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen!