Fr. Ioann (Krestiankin)
Do not lose your equilibrium
I congratulate you and your mother with the feast. God’s blessing to you and your mother.
However, let Holy Hierarch Theophan [the Recluse of Vysha] give you an answer about monasticism. I am sending you his book, Wise Counsels. Read pages 66 through 95 carefully. With respect to work—just as the Lord did not abandon us before, neither will He now. Pray to Holy Martyr Tryphon, and everything will be all right. Do not lose your equilibrium, little one. You have already had many difficult situations, but it is these things that teach us to energetically turn to God and His saints for help, and to perceive this as our only real and powerful help.
May God give you wisdom and strength.
Discernment will help you decide
Dear in the Lord I.!
You are at the age when you need to choose your life’s path. But you should do this yourself, thoughtfully and responsibly, and taking into consideration your own possibilities; for if you are bound by obligations to your family, you have to account for them. Therefore, discernment will help you to decide what you can do at the given moment. You are already singing to God in the monastery choir, but if you do not have the monastic spirit within you, then the world will claim its rights.
Look inside yourself!
You should not make your choice with a fluttering spirit, and without duly considering which cross you are reaching out to take.
Destruction lurks both here and there
Dear in the Lord A.!
Parental blessing builds the house of the children. This is the gift God has given to parents, and therefore you must neither enter a monastery nor get married without your mother’s blessing. But before you get her blessing, you yourself must think through everything carefully.
You mentioned your health—this is of no small importance. The monasteries are now being restored, and you need strength and good health. No one will take your illness into consideration. So murmuring and despondency will begin, and that is not salvation, but destruction.
Live for now as you are, my child, with your mother, and try to learn a useful trade. A medic would be both beneficial in the world, and good in a monastery.
So do not hurry, A. There is no pressure—no one is forcing you to marry, nor will the monastery run away from you. When you grow up you yourself will make a conscious choice and set out upon a podvig according to your strength. People save themselves in the world and in the monastery, but destruction lurks both here and there.
Study, A.! The Lord will show you from there. Live with your mother for now.