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We hurt, but are not discouraged

Dianne receives many letters with people's pain about her brother Vladyka Seraphim. Here you can find some of them:

There are very few human beings I have ever met about whom, in all truth, when encountering them, I can say with great certainty that "Christ is in our midst!" The Archbishop is one of those handful of persons.

There is a lovely story from the Desert Fathers about a group of stragglers who climbed up a tall hill and entered a cave in order to visit with an aged Gerondas. He received them in the customary way, and then proceeded to return to his personal activities for several hours. After much consternation, one of the group said, "Abba, we have come a long way to receive a word for our salvation! Yet, you say nothing!" Then, with great love in his eyes, the Gerondas turned around to them and replied, "My children, you will not be edified by my speech if you cannot be edified by my silence."

The "Holy Synod" of the OCA has no more power or authority to determine your brother's sanctity than they do to elevate the recently coronated 21 Coptic Neomartyrs of the Islamic Yoke in Libya. I believe the Slavonic expression "Divjen Bokh vo Svjatykh Jego" applies here: "God is WONDROUS in His Saints"... wherever we behold the glory of God made manifest in this world, there is .Christ. The Light of Christ illumines all. – FP

P.S. what I am finding, simply through the e-mails and phones and tasks during the day, is that those I am in contact with are sharing wonderful experiences of Vladyka with me, and his situation has stirred in them a realization of how deeply God has met them through Vladyka's presence. This says a lot to me about how the Lord may use this very troubling situation for good. – FE

There are so many places in the Gospels and Epistles that speak of unjust suffering. While painful, the blessing that it brings to the Christian, draws him/her ever closer to Our Lord.
Many of the email writers have expressed this very eloquently.
We are sure that Vladika is well acquainted with those passages.- though even Christ, himself, wished for a moment that His Father would take the suffering He was about experience from Him.
We will journey with Vladika through these days, knowing that Our Lord has a purpose for him there.
Thank you for letting us know how we may continue to keep in contact with him.
With our love and prayers for Vladika and for you and all those who dearly love him. – CA

I have been praying for your dear brother over these last few days especially.
Despite all the hurts and betrayals he must be feeling, he certainly is in Christ's loving hands. Why these things happen we don't know. I'm reminded of moments in Dostoyevsky's novels and in the lives of saints. Perhaps there's a broken soul he is being sent to comfort. I pray that he is strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
Any of us can feel the pain and the burden of life's events. I'm praying today that he is given strength to bear it.
When you speak to him, please send him our love and support. – SM

Treasure all your memories you have of your precious brother Seraphim and continue to uphold him in joy and peace surrounded with God's Love.
Together as we believe and pray we will see miracles manifested in this hour of great trial.
Be encouraged and thankful my dear girl.
God is on the throne. He knows every intent of every heart.
How precious that He says, Vengeance is mine. That looks after anger, worry, resentment, hate and revenge.
When I travelled to Russia with Vladyka Seraphim, his hugs brought tears to an adult woman who was never allowed to touch a Bishop.
He in turn with thankfulness, gave her a Hug and she wept. It was a precious sight.
We Canadians took his love for granted because he gave it so freely.
We are so blessed to have had Vladyka in our midst.
May our Precious Lord minister to his every need. – LC

I just want you to know our Precious Vladyka and all of you, his family, are in my/our prayers.
We love him dearly and pray God's protection on him; may he be surrounded with Holy Angels; be kept in the Love of God, strengthened in heart, soul, body and spirit and may he be filled with Peace.
Some things are not understood in this world but Christ has overcome this world.
May the Theotokos minister to Vladyka's every need and may our Lord continue to use him to His Glory.
He has been a blessing and pillar of encouragement to me, my children and my precious Mom who loved him like a son, praying and respecting him as our Arch Bishop and man of God.
Lord have mercy – LC

So sorry the decision went against Seraphim, but I'm not surprised. What a heartache this must be for your family, and for his many supporters in Canada and elsewhere. I can only hope that he will be completely safe while serving his sentence, and that the Lord will use him to touch the lives of others in there with him. – SB

As painful as it is to think of the suffering our dear Vladyka must be enduring, it is important to remember that God's ways are not our ways.
And as baffling and heart-breaking as this is to all of us, I have no doubt that your beloved brother will use this opportunity to glorify God and to ease the pain of others around him.
I don't know if you noticed, but the same day that this happened, there was an article in our local paper about the complete unreliability of "recovered memories" and relying on memories in judgments - and the necessity to have such "memories" corroborated by at least one other witness in a court of law.
How many people have had their lives, careers and reputations ruined by these pranks? It is so evil.
Anyone who is or has been a teacher, youth worker, sports coach, clergyman, etc. should be shaking in their boots.
Anyone can be taken down by accusations like this. – LF

I do intend to write to him, and want him to know that he is forever my friend, and forever an archbishop, both before God, and in the eyes of all of us who truly know and love him.
With love and blessings – AT

Our hearts reach out to you and to all of your family. There is God's plan in all of this.
We hurt, but are not discouraged. We pray for our dear Vladyka and for all of you.
May God protect Vladyka, bless him, and keep him by His grace.
We look forward to the time when we can be together again. – KM