A Christmas greeting card sent by Elder Sophrony of Essex23 December 2016
Paraskevi, who out of sheer humility does not wish to reveal her full name, was among the first spiritual children of Elder Sophrony, during the time of her studies in England. She sent us a copy of two handwritten scripts by the blessed Elder.
The Christmas wish card (handwritten):
The Old Rectroy,Tolleshent Knight
by Maldon, Essex
Dear beloved in Christ, Sister Paraskevi.
May the Lord’s grace and peace be abundant in you. Let me first wish you Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Paraskevi, has it ever happened to do something according to my blessing and it turned out harmful? Or has it happened that you did something according to your mind and not according to my humble advice that it was successful and in accordance with God’s providence? Therefore, now you must listen to me, the old fool, and do as I give you the blessing to do. The only beneficial way for you and your relatives is to finish your studies and work at the same time, as my monks do from morning till the evening. Get rid of any worry for X and your family.
The unworthy Arch. Sophrony.
You have the love of all who are at out monastery.
On the book St Silouan the Athonite (handwritten):
To my beloved in Christ sister Paraskevi with warm wishes and love
15th August 1975
Printed in Caps:
Hailing from various countries
And retreating to the Mountain,
Among the holy fathers of Mount Athos,
Escaping the unnatural
And safeguarding the natural
Rising to that which is beyond nature
Again, by hand of Elder Sophrony:
From the Holy Spirit gashes out love, and without it no one is able to know God ‘as He must be known’.
E.S. p. 443
(Note: E.S. refer to Elder Silouan, not yet recognized as a Saint at the time)