The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


19 June 2020

So, you want to be Orthodox?

Four years after encountering Orthodoxy, Craig Young, along with his wife Susan, decided they wanted to be Orthodox.  They had both been in the Roman Catholic church.  The year was 1970 and they were both in their mid-20s.  That year they attended Liturgy at the cathedral in San Francisco, and afterwards approached Archbishop Anthony and told him that they wanted to be Orthodox.   The Archbishop called for Fr. Seraphim (with Fr. Herman), who took the Youngs over to a bench and sat them down.  Craig Young reported later:

"The two men rained a barrage of questions on us:

'So, why do you want to be Orthodox?  Do you know what that means?  What's the difference between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism?  Why do you want to join our Russian Church Abroad instead of some other jurisdiction?  Don't you know we are a small, persecuted Church living in exile?  Everybody hates us and makes fun of us.  Why do you want to join a Church like this?  Do you understand what really happens in the Divine Liturgy?'

Frankly, it was daunting.  Somehow we had thought we would be immediately welcomed with open arms, as though the Church had been waiting for us all these centuries; instead we were being given the third degree!" 

Classic Introduction to Orthodoxy
Door to Paradise 
(original by former monk John Marler)

29 May 2020

Report by Abbot Gerasim

Excerpts from Autobiography of World-Orthodox Gerasim Eliel [mainly MP]
parts that tell his story of Platina 1980 – 1983

Abbot Gerasim's observations and perspective about Platina and Fr. Seraphim.  Obviously his perception of Fr. Seraphim was restricted to a superficial level -- I can't think of another way to describe it.  But his report is neverthless true, and of interest to us.

from his Autobiographical Sketch 
Abbot Gerasim (Eliel) 
Updated June 6, 2011 

My First Visit to the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in July, 1980 
On July 6, 1980, during our summer in Calistoga, [OCA] James Paffhausen and I, with the blessing of  [OCA]  Priest John Newcombe, drove four hours north to the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery.  This proved to be a very pivotal event in my life's path.  I found the monastery to be very strange at first, but I was intrigued because I saw that they were living the type of life that I had been reading about and that I longed to emulate.  When we arrived, the monastery was desolate. After Small Vespers and an evening meal we retired until around 10:00 p.m., at which time an All-night Vigil with Divine Liturgy was served. The singing was rather plain and brisk, bats flew through the temple a few times during the service. The church had never been finished, tar paper could be seen on the walls and ceiling behind the studs and rafters, stubs of candles burned on several second-hand candlestands, the church was lit with oil lamps that were filled at least once during the Vigil, and the entire church was censed several times during the course of the service.  Since this monastery was in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, James explained that we were not to receive Holy Communion. This service may seem simple in retrospect, but at my impressionable young age, diligently pondering the monastic life, here I tasted what I had been seeking. After the Divine Liturgy there was a simple meal in a refectory whose walls contained iconographic sketches that had never been finished. I witnessed the monastic life in a small skete secluded in the mountains, on a feast honoring the Forerunner of the Lord.  At that time there were very few places on the West Coast where one could attend an All-night Vigil in English, let alone on a weekday and lasting most of the way through the night.  The fact that this monastery was not in communion with either the OCA or the Moscow Patriarchate and the rustic facilities was hard to accept at first.  

The monastic brotherhood then consisted of Abbot Herman, Hieromonk Seraphim, Riassaphore-monk Peter (now Hieromonk Juvenaly), and perhaps three other brothers. Later that morning after resting, James and I went on a walk with Father Seraphim along the county road that passes through the monastery land. We each had partially developed thoughts about the monastic life. Everything that Father Seraphim said was very inspiring. I think that he was happy to speak with a couple of young people who were seriously interested in the monastic life. Our encounter and conversation that day was pivotal in my own life. I observed Hieromonk Seraphim as a teacher of the Orthodox Faith and of the spiritual life. I saw that I had much to learn from him and from the unpretentious way of life at this monastery. At one point in our walk James bluntly told Father Seraphim that we were intending to start a hesychast monastery. I gulped.  At the time James did not know how absurd this sounded.  Hieromonk Seraphim, silently saying the Jesus Prayer as he walked, then gently spoke about sobriety and the need to think humbly of ourselves.  He recommended reading The Arena by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (which James had in his collection) and began to speak about delusion or prelest. (I later witnessed Hieromonk Seraphim responding in a mild way to a number of other people who came to talk about exalted themes like hesychasm). This day marked a milestone in our lives and a very important point in our spiritual development. Later in the morning we had a talk with Abbot Herman who made recommendations about what we should do at our campus, how we should gather to pray, and how we should organize talks.  He offered to help us out with some literature.  I kept all these ideas in my head.  The next year I continually reflected back on my visit to the monastery as a model of what I wanted in the monastic life. 

Visit of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose to UCSC 
Our Orthodox Christian Fellowship began to grow.  That small group eventually produced a large number of clergy and monastics, including Hieromonk James Corraza of the Old Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco, California. 

On May 15 Hieromonk Seraphim Rose was invited to visit our university to address our World Religions class taught by Noel Q. King.  Two guests from the future Evangelical Orthodox Church, Marion Cardoza (later Priest Seraphim Cardoza of Rogue River, Oregon [ROCOR]) and his friend Daniel Ogan (afterwards an iconographer) also attended Father Seraphim's talk.  It is amazing how pivotal this talk proved to be for Marion Cardoza, John Christensen, James Corraza and others.  I think that we had studied hard, and were ripe to hear a living word.  I had always treasured this talk which was taped by James Corraza and distributed widely among friends.  Seven years later I was instrumental in seeing this lecture being printed as a separate book entitled God's Revelation to the Human Heart.  

St. Herman of Alaska Monastery 
I reached St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina on the afternoon of July 28 [1981] en route to Portland.  Neither Abbot Herman nor Hieromonk Seraphim were there at that hour—only a few novices.  I decided to stay to help prepare for the 1981 St. Herman of Alaska summer pilgrimage.  I was quite happy and willing to contribute my efforts;  I looked forward to participating in the Divine Services and experiencing the monastic life.  However, I had no intention of staying at the monastery.   I looked forward to being involved in establishing the monastic life with Hieromonk Anastasy as my instructor and spiritual father.  

Pilgrims began to arrive just before St. Herman’s feast day from all over the West Coast and even overseas.  [ROCOR] Bishop Alypy of Cleveland visited on the feast day and [ROCOR] Bishop Laurus of Holy Trinity Monastery visited later in the week.  The feast was followed by a week of  classes on the Orthodox Faith and was designed to present the foundations of the faith primarily to converts and cradle Orthodox who wanted to know more about their faith.  There was a decided missionary tone to the "Pilgrimage."  The curriculum consisted of Church history, Orthodox doctrine, liturgics and chanting, and an explanation of the Book of Genesis by Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).  Priest Alexey Young, who was very close to Fathers Herman and Seraphim, came from Etna and gave several of the classes.  There was also a slide show about Valaam Monastery and its elders.  This was accompanied by music of the monks of Old Valaam singing Valaam chant.  Since St. Herman of Alaska had laid his monastic beginning in that monastery, this slide show helped to give a background and context to the whole week.  This also was one of the things that most intrigued me: pictures and stories of the way monks lived in a traditional monastery, especially one such as Valaam where [MP] Bishop Mark had laid the beginning of his monastic life.  Here I encountered a context in which I could learn all about the teaching of the Church, and in which I could participate in the full cycle of services in the English language.  There was a daily explanation of the lives of the saints and the scripture readings.  The monastery was remote and cut off from the world.  I felt peace here.  It was also important to me that they were actively disseminating the Orthodox Faith.  

I talked to Hieromonk Anastasy on the telephone and, as he had not made any arrangements for me in Portland, I was in no hurry to go.  Finally, one day one of the monks sat next to me and asked me what I was going to do.  He asked if I had thought about staying at the monastery.  Of course, I had, but I knew that my family would be absolutely against it.  I also did not think that my spiritual father would give me his blessing to stay.  It should be stated that there were people, both pilgrims and monks who regularly bad mouthed the Moscow Patriarchate and the OCA from almost the first day that I came to the monastery. People around the monastery pejoratively called the OCA "the Metropolia."   They called the Moscow Patriarchate the "Soviet Church."  [MP] Bishop Mark had told us that not only ROCOR but Abbot Herman as well was "making politik," as he would express himself.  So there were a number of different reasons that I hesitated to join the monastery.  I talked with the Abbot, Father Herman, and asked him if it was possible for me to stay.  He told me that I could and that he would be happy to talk with Hieromonk Anastasy.  One day we  called him from Redding.  I asked his blessing to stay at the monastery.  He gave his blessing but, I could sense, very reluctantly.  I do not believe that he ever had full confidence in Abbot Herman.  

Life in the Monastery 
I stayed the first few months at the monastery soaking in the monastic life without making any commitment.  In late November, 1981 I petitioned to be accepted as a novice.  On the feast of St. Herman of Alaska, celebrated there at the monastery on December 12/25, 1981, I was clothed as a novice.  I was very happy at that time.  I lived that first winter in an unheated cell.  I would put on several coats and use extra blankets to stay warm but I had my own partitioned cell, my icon corner, and spiritual books.  I had only one robe.  My life was centered around the Divine Services, my obediences, and my prayer rule.

During my novitiate I performed the usual obediences of a novice: I cooked, cleaned the church, cut firewood, helped in carpentry and construction projects, made elementary automotive repairs, etc.  In the spring of 1982 I began building a new set of cells which due to my lack of experience had many shortcomings.  However, as the future showed, this experience proved to be valuable. 

I soon began to assist with research for the monastery publications. I was gradually trained to do post-production work on the monastery publications, such as collating, stapling and cutting.  Later I was instructed how to use the old letterpress. Late in 1981 I began to help with research for the book Russia's Catacomb Saints. I would cross-reference citations and facts, analyze sources, write synopses of periods of persecution, movements in the early years of the Soviet regime and episodes in the life of the Church. I enjoyed this work very much. During the first two years I spent at the monastery my involvement with missionary trips to Redding, Etna, and Medford was very limited. Since I was a young novice, I was kept out of harm's way. Gradually I was included and often this involved the showing of slide shows on Holy Places in America, Valaam Monastery, Mount Athos, the New Martyrs of Russia, or some other theme.  

An important aspect of my monastic experience began during the fall of 1981.  After Compline the brothers were given an opportunity to have "revelation of thoughts" with Hieromonk Seraphim.  Although Father Herman was the abbot, Hieromonk Seraphim more often heard the confessions of the brothers and the revelation of thoughts.  This helped to lift the burden from my soul on a daily basis.  This continued regularly four or five times a week until mid-August, 1982.  At the same time, I became accustomed to going to Confession.  I did not have much experience with confession with Hieromonk Anastasy.  I think that he realized that I had to become at home in the Church first and that this was very foreign to me.  It was very hard in the beginning to accept correction.  Hieromonk Anastasy also had been reticent to correct me as was Abbot Herman later.  I distinctly remember that at one point during the first six months I made the remark to Hieromonk Seraphim during Confession that I was like everyone else.  I remember hearing him sigh.  I believe that he made a remark to the extent that this showed what a long way I had to go.  When I realized what I had said, my conscience stung.  I was very embarrassed.  I also had a number of lessons to learn in asking blessings to undertake some project.  Once when I was making some simple furniture item out of leftover wood, Hieromonk Seraphim asked me what I was doing.  When I explained, he asked, "Did you get a blessing to do this?"  Of course, I had not.  

Central to our monastic life was the monastic cell-rule of prayer.  At a certain point each monastic aspirant would be assigned a prayer rule.  It was the practice of the monastery for each monk to retire to his cell in the evening and there do his cell rule.  Because of the absence of electricity, it fit well with our life to perform our cell rule in the evening after Compline.  It was not easy to accustom myself to this.  I did not have good habits of self-discipline. It also kept the brothers from talking after evening prayers which were read in common in church.  We also had the habit that when we drove to Redding or on any journey that we would begin the journey with the Optina five hundred prayer rule.  This also brought a blessing on the journey and limited talking.  During Father Seraphim's lifetime when we went on any long trip, we would also bring the Horologion, Menaion, and Psalter and read the Vespers or Matins service that would otherwise have been omitted.  This produced in us a monastic world view and helped with our identity as monks.  Fundamental to our monastic formation were the evening talks that were delivered in the refectory primarily by Abbot Herman.  After the reading would finish, we would all be gathered around the table.  I soaked up every word that he or Hieromonk Seraphim had to share.  Sometimes I would record it in my journal that evening or during the next day.  In 1981–82 we did not have any editions of the Lives of the Saints, the Synaxarion or the Prologue.  Abbot Herman was able to share substantially the entire life of a saint or a righteous one from recent times without a text or notes.  He had a superb gift for relating the lives of the saints and the righteous ones of recent times.  His memory was very sharp and he was able to involve his listener in what he was trying to emphasize.  For those who listened intently it was quite an education.  The first books that I read at the monastery were Abba Dorotheos of Gaza, The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, Unseen Warfare, Spiritual Homilies of St. Macarius of Egypt

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose 
Hieromonk Seraphim was usually the first or second one to church every morning. He often began the morning prayers himself in the Narthex. He would serve Matins without fail every day unless there was a literal all-night vigil which would be too much stress on his physical condition.  At times he would come to the cliros during Matins and help to lead the singing, either reading the canon in Slavonic or translating verses on the spot into English for the instruction of those gathered.  Every day, regardless of whether the Divine Liturgy was to be served or not, he would give a sermon on the theme of the daily Epistle or Gospel reading.  The Divine Liturgy was always served on Saturday and Sunday.  

He had great love for the nature that surrounded the monastery.  I reveled in this, too.  Up until I was ordained a priest, I would regularly take a book and hike up our mountain every Sunday, feast day or whenever I had the chance and find some new secluded spot in which to pray and read.  In October 1981 we were able to hike to the top of Mount Yolla Bolly (8,000 ft) located about twenty-five miles from the monastery.  Here at the top Fr. Seraphim read about the ascetic feats of the western desert dwellers of the Jura Mountains as we sat atop that chilly peak.  It was a beautiful glimpse of the world that he loved and which greatly impressed itself on me. 

In the autumn of 1981 Hieromonk Seraphim taught a class every other morning from his notes for a summer seminar that he had begun four or five years previously.  This course eventually became dubbed as the "Orthodox Survival Course."  It was his analysis of the history of Western philosophy, political history, and religious development from the time of the Great Schism.  He felt very strongly that an acute analysis in this manner showed the fruits of the schism of Rome from the Church and how the consequences of this schism are expressed in the history of Western culture.  In the following spring Hieromonk Seraphim sought to include me in the classes that he was teaching to one Seminary student who was taking correspondence courses through the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville.  Father Seraphim had questioned me several times whether or not I felt I was being challenged.  I was actually afraid that he would send me back to the university, which I do not believe was his intention but which was my greatest fear.  We also had classes in Russian which were crucial in providing me continuity with the one year during which I had studied Russian in the university.  At the same time I made it a discipline that whenever Hieromonk Seraphim or anyone else was reading in Slavonic on the cliros that I would walk over and look on at the text.  By the mid 1980s I was able to translate Slavonic into English without much difficulty.  The illness and repose of Hieromonk Seraphim was a great tragedy in my life.  It left us all stunned.  It happened so unexpectedly.  At first I did not suspect anything serious.  It seemed that he merely had a bad case of constipation.  He took a turn for the worse.  The heat in the valley was intense, approximately 115° F, and therefore we did not want to make him worse by taking him to Redding.  When we finally did the news was shocking: a section of his large intestine had ceased to function.  An operation began immediately.  Gangrene was already setting in and peritonitis of the stomach cavity developed.  It affected all his internal organs.  Having only one functioning kidney from an early age his system was not sufficiently strong to battle this condition.  Within several days Hieromonk Seraphim died.  

Abbot Herman and I drove back in the hearse from Redding to the monastery on September 3 with Father Seraphim's body in a coffin.  When Archbishop Anthony and Bishop Nektary arrived, Abbot Herman spoke to them about the details of the funeral and burial.  I was to be tonsured a reader on that day.  However, I stated that I did not want to become a reader, but rather that I wanted to be a monk.  I clung steadfastly to my desire for the monastic life that I had formed under the direction of Hieromonk Anastasy, [MP] Bishop Mark, and my first year at the monastery.  The funeral was attended by approximately 120 people.  I was so overwhelmed by all those events that I do not remember many details.  I remember Hieromonk Anastasy came for the funeral.  Before the Divine Liturgy, Novice Stephen and I were tonsured riassaphore-monks at the coffin of Hieromonk Seraphim by Archbishop Anthony.  In the monastic tonsure I was given the name Gerasim, with St. Gerasimus of the Jordan as my monastic patron and receiving this name in honor of Archimandrite Gerasim (Schmaltz) who had settled at Monks' Lagoon and devoted his life to the veneration of St. Herman of Alaska.  It was in such a context that I embraced the monastic life. 

Soon things began to change in our St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.  More brothers came, our conditions were very crowded.  We were busy with our publications, including Russia's Catacomb Saints.  We spent a good deal of time that long, dark autumn with the regular celebration at sporadic times of the Divine Liturgy.  Gradually I began to participate more and more in the administration of the monastery.  Our abbot was frequently absent on little excursions here and there.  This was a pattern which would continue to develop until he was forced into reclusion in April 2000.  There were no longer two experienced monks here capable of guiding me in the  monastic life and providing stability in the monastery.  Now there was only one priest in the monastery to conduct the Divine services and to serve the Liturgy.  

We scrambled to salvage Hieromonk Seraphim's legacy.  We attempted to patch together projects that he had left unfinished.  In late 1982 discipline in the monastery gradually started to wane.  This was a process which extended over many years.  We no longer experienced the same regular instruction.  I began to have serious doubts about how I would remain in the monastic life.  I remember becoming habitually angry or wrathful.  I recall it being a long, wet and lonely autumn in 1982, and a few months later the monastery church would burn down.  I had a temptation to leave at the end of November.  But I did not know where to go?  To what other monastery could I go?  (We were quite prejudiced toward the New Calendar, so that eliminated a number of options).  I wanted to live a real monastic life; I saw that our monastic life was beginning to crumble. 

full 35 page bio posted here

In Memory by SIR

In 2009 SIR published Fr. Seraphim's article on the Royal Path with their footnotes.

Here is their introduction to the article:

In Memory of Hiermonk Seraphim (Rose) on the 
Twenty-Seventh Anniversary of His Holy Repose
August 20, 1982 o.s.

The Royal Path
True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy

Source: Ὀρθόδοξος Ἔνστασις καὶ Μαρτυρία, Series 1, Nos. 26-29 (January-December 1992), pp. 3-16.

HIEROMONK SERAPHIM (Eugene Rose in the world) was born in 1934 of Protestant parents, in California. He studied at Pomona College in Los Angeles and received an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Philosophical by nature and thirsting for the Truth, after a long and wandering search, he discovered it in Holy Orthodoxy, which he eagerly embraced (in 1961), literally dedicating himself to it. His profound study of the works of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky contributed to this, as did the friendship and bond that he formed with Gleb Podmoshensky, then a student at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Theological Seminary in Jordanville, New York, and subsequently his fellow ascetic, Father Herman.

In 1963, they founded the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood for the purpose of missionary work. In 1965, with the blessing of their spiritual Father, the most holy Archbishop John (Maximovich) of San Francisco (†1966),

For a biography of St. John of San Francisco, see The Life and Conduct of Our Father Among the Saints, Saint John the Wonderworker, Archbishop Of Shanghai and San Francisco (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1996); http://hsir.info/p/h4 See also “A Miracle Which Confirms the Traditional Church Calendar” (http://hsir.info/p/yp).

they began publication of the well-known periodical, The Orthodox Word.  Publishing this periodical was a veritable feat, when we bear in mind that, up until 1981, it was typeset manually and printed on a hand-operated press.  In 1969, they founded the Monastery of St. Herman of Alaska in Platina, a wilderness region in Northern California, and in 1970 they received the monastic schema.

Father Seraphim was given a blessing to live in a small hut, where he followed a very strict ascetical regimen, praying, studying, and writing, until 1977, when he was ordained a Priest by the virtuous Bishop Nektary of Seattle, of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (†1983), a disciple of the renowned last Elder of Optina, St. Nektary (†1928).  Thereafter he worked more in a missionary capacity until his holy repose on August 20, 1982 (Old Style), at the age of only forty-eight.

Father Seraphim harmoniously combined in his person an asceticism astonishing in our days with freedom from anger, meekness, humility, silence, unceasing prayer, profound love, and spiritual discretion.

Recently a monastic from Serbia has written: “The Athonite hesychast and instructor of the prayer of the heart Bishop Amphilocius [Amfilohije] once said that Fr. Seraphim was granted the greatest gift that a man can be granted on earth—the gift of spiritual discernment.”

 “Fr. Seraphim Rose: Ten Years Later,” The Orthodox Word, Vol. XXVIII, No. 4 (165) (July-August 1992), pp. 161-162.

He was particularly distinguished for his gift of eloquence and wisdom, as attested both by those who knew him and by his numerous writings, a large part of which remains still unpublished.  In these writings “we find not only his profound education and his wealth of knowledge, but also the ever-living and flourishing spirit and Grace of our God-bearing Fathers, the ‘mind of Christ,’ and a strong nisus towards a life that is lofty and fully consecrated to our Life-giving Savior”—the apocalyptic and prophetic dimension of our Holy Faith.

Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Phyle, “†Ἱερομόναχος Σεραφεὶμ (Rose)” [†Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)], Ἅγιος Κυπριανός, No. 166 (October 1982), p. 128. 

His knowledge of many languages, and especially his deep knowledge of Russian, impelled him to produce a multitude of very noteworthy translations, in order to make the treasures of the Fathers known in the New World.  “In his short life, Father Seraphim offered himself for the glory of God and the salvation of his fellow men. His preaching ministry helped many people to find the way to Orthodoxy and their salvation, while his literary activity included hundreds of articles and dozens of books that bear witness to his anxiety to preserve and transmit genuine, traditional Orthodoxy.”

Petros Botses, “Ἱερομόναχος Σεραφεὶμ (1934-1982)” [Hieromonk Seraphim (1934-1982)], Ὀρθόδοξος Τύπος, No. 534 (February 4, 1983), pp. 1, 3.

It was precisely this anxiety, coupled with his healthy and pure zeal, that prompted him to write the following article, among others. His love for the true Faith, which he expresses in this article, and, at the same time, his anguish and distress over the discernible trend among traditionalist Orthodox (in America, Greece, and elsewhere) towards an inordinate zeal marked by extremist tendencies, with very grievous consequences at an ecclesiological and at a practical level, is set forth with clarity, candor, and profundity. The timeliness of this article remains undiminished, even though almost thirty years have elapsed since it was written (in 1976).

If the sacred struggle for the Faith is to succeed, it must be conducted “properly” and “lawfully.” The most important thing is to protect and preserve the Faith from the insidious pollution of heresy and to witness to it in a Patristic, traditional, and Orthodox spirit. The message of Orthodox resistance on the part of those who abide by the Traditions of the Fathers must not be sullied by injudicious activities and unsound ideas.

The path of moderation, the Royal Path, which the late Father Seraphim chose and which he consistently followed in matters of Faith, did not please everyone. 

Many who belonged to “official” Orthodox Churches enmeshed in the ecumenical movement considered him a “dangerous fanatic,” although they admired his spiritual greatness and praised his otherwise indisputable contribution to Orthodoxy. Others, distinguished by their “zeal not according to knowledge,” denounced him as a betrayer of Orthodoxy!

Father Alexey Young, “For His Soul Pleased the Lord,” Orthodox America, No. 2 (22) (August-September 1982), p. 9

Such has always been the “lot” of those who follow the royal path of moderation and discretion....

Let the present article http://startingontheroyalpath.blogspot.com/2009/08/royal-path.html be considered a very small tribute to the memory of the late Father Seraphim, this year being the twenty-fifth anniversary of his holy repose, let his holy and discerning zeal be a shining example for us, and let his holy prayers guide us on the “Royal Path.”

Books Written by Fr. Seraphim Rose

Not listed in sidebar: parent post http://startingontheroyalpath.blogspot.com/2009/08/books-by-fr-seraphim-rose.html
This list is taken from Fr. Lawrence's blog, before he died in 2010

Books Written by Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose 

Published Books Written by Fr. Seraphim

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.  Platina, California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (hereafter cited as SHB), 1975; revised edition, SHB, 1979
Pavoslavie i Religia Budushchago (Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future), Moscow, 1991.
Pravoslavie i Religii Buduschchago (Orthodoxy and the Religions of the Future), Alma-Ata, 1991.
The Soul After Death. SHB, 1980.
Dusha Posle Smerti (The Soul After Death).  Moscow: Macaw & Co., 1991.
Svatoe Pravoslavie XX vek (Holy Orthodoxy: The Twentieth Century). Donskoy Monastery, 1992.  Contains a brief biography of Fr. Seraphim, "The Orthodox World View," "The Holy Fathers: Sure Guide to True Christianity," "The Future of Russia and the End of the World," and Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.
Heavenly Realm: Lay Sermons of Fr. Seraphim Rose.  SHB, 1984.
God's Revelation to the Human Heart.  SHB, 1987.
The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church.  SHB, 1983.
Weeping Icons of the Mother of God.  SHB, 1966.  Reprint of an article from The Orthodox Word.
Father Gerasim: Guardian of St. Herman of Alaska.  SHB, 1983.  Reprint of an article from The Orthodox Word.
The Holy Fathers: Sure Guide to True Christianity.  West Coast Orthodox Supply, 1983.  Reprint of an article from The Orthodox Word.
Moje widzenie swiata (The Orthodox World View).  Translated into Polish by Jaroslaw Charkiewicz.  Bialystok, Poland: Fellowship of Orthodox Youth in Poland, 1993.

Unpublished Books Written by Fr. Seraphim

Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, and Other early Writings of Fr. Seraphim Rose.  Includeds Fr. Seraphim's chapter on Nihilism from The Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God, his essay "The Philosophy of the Absurd," his philosophical journal from 1960 to 1962, his letter to Thomas Merton, and other material.

The Orthodox Patristic Understanding of Genesis.  Includes Fr. Seraphim's Commentary on Genesis, and his letter to the late Dr. Alexander Kalomiros on the Patristic refutation of evolutionism.
The Orthodox World View: A Survival Course for the Last Christians. The course he gave at the St. Herman Monastery in 1975.
Modern Links with the Holy Fathers.  Includes his writings about Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, Fr. Michael Pomazansky, Archimandrite Conastantine Zaitsev, Fr. Nicholas Deputatov, I.M. Andreyev, and Archbishop Andrew (Fr. Adrian) of New Diveyevo, together with Fr. Herman's biography of Ivan and Helen Kontzevitch.
The Holy Fathers of Orhtodox Spirituality.  Includes the articles (The Holy Fathers: Inspiration and Sure Guide to True Christianity," "How to Read the Holy Fathers," and "How Not to Read the Holy Fathers."
Aesthetic Theologhy: They Typicon of the Orthodox Church's Divin Services.  A series of articles he wrote in order to inspire Orthodox Christians to do the daily cycle of Church services.  Included practical guidelines and musical notation.
Feasts and Holy Icons.  Includes his articles on the Weeping Icons of the Mother of God.
Lectures of Fr. Seraphim Rose.  Includes "Raising the Mind, Warming the Heart," "God's Revelation to the Human Heart," "The Search for Orthodoxy Today," "Orthodoxy in the USA," "The Orthodox World View," "In Step with Saints Patrick and Gregory of Tours," "The Future of Russia and the End of the World," "The Orthodox Revival in Russia," "Signs of the Coming of the End of the World," and other lectures.

Published Books Translated, Compiled, 
and/or Introduced by Fr. Seraphim

Andrew of New Diveyevo, Archbishop.  The Restoration of the Orthodox Way of Life.  SHB, 1976.  Includes an introduction by Fr. Seraphim on Archbishop Andrew and Orthodox community life.
Andreyev, I.M.  Russia's Catacomb Saints.  SHB, 1983.  Includes the Life of I.M. Andreyev and much more material by Fr. Seraphim.
Averky, Archbishop.  The Apocalypse of St. John: An Orthodox Commentary. SHB, 1985.  Includesarticles by Fr. Seraphim on the Life of Archbishop Averky and on the intrepretation of the book of Apocalypse
Barsanuphius and John, Saints.  Guidance Toward Spiritual Life.  SHB, 1990.
Gretory of Tours, St.  Vita Patrum.  SHB, 1988.  Includes over 100 pages of introductory material by Fr. Seraphim on Christianity and monasticism in 5th- and 6th-century Gaul (France).
John Maximovitch, Archbishop (now Saint).  The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of
God.  SHB, 1978.  Includes an introduction by Fr. Seraphim on the theology of Archbishop (now Saint) John.
Kontzevitch, I.M.  The Northern Thebaid.  SHB, 1975.  Preface and Epilogue by Fr. Seraphim.
Metrophanes, Schemamonk.  Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky.  SHB, 1976.  Introduction and Service to Blessed Paisius by Fr. Seraphim.
Nazarius of Valaam, Elder.  Little Russian Philokalia, vol. 2.  SHB, 1983.
Pomazansky, Protopresbyter Michael.  Orthodox Dogmatic Theologhy.  SHB, 1984.  Includes a Life of Fr. Michael, extensive annotation, and appendix by Fr. Seraphim.
——.  Dogmaticheskoe Bogoslovie [Dogmatic Theology] St. Herman Brotherhood Russian edition, 1992.  Includes an appendix: "Report of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose to Bishop Nektary of Seattle on the Danger of the Resurgence among Orthodox Christians of the New 'Dogma' [of Redemption]."
Rose, Fr. Seraphim, and Abbot Herman.  Blessed John the Wonderworker.  SHB, 1987.  Includes the Prima Vita of Archbishop (now Saint) John by Fr. Seraphim.
Sava, Bishop of Edmonton.  Blessed John: The Chronicle of the Veneration of Archbishop John Maximovitch.  SHB, 1979.
Seraphim of Sarov, St.  Little Russian Philokalia, vol. 1.  SHB, 1980.  Includes a brief Life of St. Seraphim by Fr. Seraphim.
Syemon the Theologian, St.  The Sin of Adam.  SHB, 1979.  Introduction by Fr. Seraphim.
Theophan the Recluse, St.  The Path to Salvation.  West Coast Orthodox Supply, 1983; reprinted by Conciliar Press under the title Raising Them Righ, 1989.
Verkhovsky, Abbess Vera.  Elder Zosima: Hesychast of Siberia.  Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society, 1979; revised edition, SHB, 1990.  Introduction by Fr. Seraphim.

Unpublished Books Translated by Fr. Seraphim

Dimitry Dudko, Fr.  Resurrection Sermons.
Dorotheos of Gaza, St.  Spiritual Counsels.
John Maximovitch, Archbishop (now Saint).  The Sermons of Archbishop John Maximovitch.  Serialized in The Orthodox Word.
Paisius Velichkovsky, St.  Field Flowers and The Scroll (Little Russian Philokalia, vol. 4.  Seralized in The Orthodox Word.
Seers of the Other World.  The Lives of saints who saw into the angelic and demonic realms.  Serialized in The Orthodox Word.
Theodore the Studite, St.  Instructions for Monks.

Church Services Written by Fr. Seraphim

Service to St. Herman of Alaska (co-written by Fr. Herman Podmoshensky). SHB, 1970.
Service to Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky.  In Schemamonk Metrophanes, Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky, SHB, 1976.
Akathist to Blessed John (Maximovitch) the Wonderworker.  The Orthodox Word, nos. 123-125, 1985.
Service to the New Martyrs of Russia (co-written by Fr. Herman).  1981, unpublished.

Writings on Fr. Seraphim and his Works

Brigid McCarthy, Nun.  "The Last Chapter in the Short Life of Father Seraphim of Platina."  The Orthodox Word, nos. 108-109 (1983).
"Dusha Posle Smerti" (The Soul After Death).  Nauka i Religia (Science and  Religion), no. 5. (may, 1991).
Damascene Christensen, Monk.  "Fr. Seraphim's Search for Truth." The Orthodox Word, nos. 108-109 (1983).
——.  "Fr. Seraphim the Philosopher."  The Orthodox Word, no. 136 (1987).
——.  "The Literary Inheritance of Fr. Seraphim Rose."  The Orthodox Word, no. 104 (1982).
——.  "Otets Serafim Roz: Kratkaya Biografiya" (Fr. Seraphim Rose: A Brief Biography).  Russky Palomnik (Russian Pilgrim), no. 3 (1991).
Derugin, Priest Vladimir.  "Ieromonakh Seraphim: Ukhod Pravednika" (The Passing Away of a Righteous One).  Fr. Seraphim Memorial Fund, 1983.
"Pravoslavi i Religia Budusschago" (Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future).  Pravoslavnoe Obozrenie (Orthodox Digest) (1983).
Rose, Fr. Seraphim, "From the Chronicle of the St. Herman Brotherhood." The Orthodox Word, no. 125 (1985).
Rossi, Vincent, The American Acquisition of the Patristic Mind." The Orthodox Word, no. 119 (1984).
"With the Saints Give Rest…" Orthodox America, no 22 (1982).
Young, Fr. Alexy, "A Mighty Pen Is Stilled."  Orthodox America, no. 22 (1982).

email designers

02 May 2020

The Saker

Website Review

Notice concerning The Saker blog

Add star

Joanna Higginbotham

Sat, May 2, 2020 at 9:06 AM
To: vineyardsaker@gmail.com

Christ is risen!
Dear Andrei,

I am an Orthodox Christian in the ROCOR under Vl. Agafangel, a Sister Church to the GOC.  I am very disturbed by the idea reflected on your blog, https://thesaker.is, that Moslems and Christians have the same God.  Your relationships with Moslems is inappropriate.   A true Orthodox Christian should not closely associate with a Moslem except to convert him.

Neither does a true Orthodox Christian hobnob with blasphemers of Christ.  To name one: your featured blog contributor: Eric Zuesse, author of Christ's Ventriloquists.

Everyone is allowed their opinion, so this is not the cause of my writing to you today.   What concerns me is that it is known you are a member of the GOC, and your opinions/associations are made public.  Your indifference to the truth is offensive to the Church, and those who love the Church should be offended.  Apparently though, you are permitted to continue unimpeded.

It is too late for you to be anonymous on your blog.  The only solution I see is for your blog to close; or else, for you to disassociate yourself from the Sister Churches.  If Andrei Raevsky were in the MP or the ROCOR-MP, then The Saker could publish as he pleases without offending my Church.

I am also a blogger, owner of http://remnantrocor.blogspot.com.  And I am transparent about my Church.  I have pointed a good number of potential catechumens to the GOC, some of whom have made it to the baptismal font, and some with monastic leanings.  My readers come to me with questions, and I give them open and honest answers best as I can.  That includes being honest about The Saker blog.

This note is to let you know that on my blog I will speak out against The Saker blog.  This is not to debate with you about specific things you post or allow others to post.  Rather, it is only in general, to warn my readers that the owner of The Saker blogis not a representative or example of true Orthodox Christianity, despite his membership in the GOC.

In Christ,

Bcc: 7 recipients

related post:

01 April 2020

from Pravda Ru


"It is later than you thnk!"

American Apostle to the Russian People

No sarcasm is involved in the headline

Nothing to do with sleek businessmen, fast food chains or investment schemes. And many Russian Christians will recognize him right away: few Christian stores or church book counters would not carry translations from Fr. Seraphim Rose.

It should be noted, however, that his apostleship ─ to Russia or to any other nation into whose languages his works are translated ─ did not emerge until he finished his earthly sojourn: he died in September, 1982 at the age of 48, and the twentieth anniversary of his untimely death is solemnly observed these days all over the globe. And here on earth he lived in a tiny Orthodox monastic community in the mountains of North California, constantly immersed into the church service cycle, into research, writing, editing and publishing work, translating treasures of Christian heritage into English, responding to letters from readers and inquirers, attending to the daily needs like gardening, firewood, truck engine and printing equipment, and praying in silence.

Who was he, that humble, reticent priest-monk? Eugene Rose before monasticism, younger son of a janitor, born in San Diego, CA, in his school and college years he had little involvement with, or interest for Christianity. But he had a bright, inquisitive mind and an honest heart, yearning for the truth ─ and that has made all the difference.

He studied Buddhism under Alan Watts in San Francisco and Chinese philosophy in the University of California, Berkeley, excelling in any field he touched and realizing at the same time that the full truth had to be found elsewhere… As he later recalled, “…a new idea began to enter my awareness: that Truth was not just an abstract idea, sought and known by the mind, but rather something personal ─ even a Person ─ sought and loved by the heart. And that is how I met Christ”.

A number of outer circumstances furthered his conversion. Eugene had connections to the Russian immigrant community in San Francisco with very strong Orthodox Christian roots. In 1962 it was headed by Archbishop John Maximovich, known by some of his followers in China and Western Europe as a saint even during his lifetime (and indeed, he was canonized in 1994 in San Francisco). He took spiritual charge over the young American inquirer, and Fr. Seraphim throughout his life kept the deepest devotion to Archbishop John.

But there is more to it. A throng of faithful flocked around the saintly Archbishop ─ yet no one else was to become like Fr. Seraphim. Much later a person who had known him quite well summarized it as follows: 

“He was very intelligent ─ such a genius that few people saw him for what he was. But at the same time he was very simple, not complicated at all, rather like his father and mother. He could see things exactly the way they were ─ a down-to-earth, warm, honest man”. Fr. Seraphim’s heritage, both tangible and intangible, is truly immense, and even today, twenty years after his death, it keeps unfolding, opening new riches. A new volume of his correspondence, Letters from Fr. Seraphim, has just been published. Before that, a vast collection Genesis, Creation and Early Man has appeared, devoted mostly to the evolution vs. creation controversy. His most widely known work, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, reprinted many times in the US and abroad, should be credited for exposing numerous modern-day spiritual deceptions and rescuing countless souls from the New Age and Occult sects.  The Soul After Death spells out the traditional Christian view and explains otherwise mysterious “near-death” and “after-death experiences”.  The Orthodox Word bi-monthly, published by Fr. Seraphim since 1965, at times single-handedly, is still serving the English-speaking Christians. 

And that’s just a small portion of what he has done. His disciples, both clergy and laity, are found in Orthodox communities all over the US and, in fact, all over the world; his articles, sermons and lectures provide an ever-fresh source of knowledge and inspiration. And his gravesite in Platina, CA has become a popular place of pilgrimage for those who loved him here on earth as well as those who never met him personally.

From the preface to the Heavenly Realm, a collection of essays by Eugene Rose, future Fr. Seraphim:
“The wonder of a soul of a modern young man who managed somehow to penetrate into the realm of the rich Christian tradition, then to saturate himself by its divine splendor, and finally to emerge as a living link with the Church Fathers ─ is indeed awesome! Who would suspect that our prosaic America could produce such a visionary?” Remembering Fr. Seraphim (Orthodox America, Aug.-Sep. 1982)

• In conversation he was the proverbial “man of few words”. He had no interest in idle chatter, seldom expressed a personal preference for anything, and disliked fakery of all kinds, often speaking of the “Disneyland mentality” of America which was making it impossible for people to seek and find the truth. (Such aversion to Disney, in those years ostensibly innocent, seemed strange to many ─ but soon the cat will be out of the bag, and in 1996 American Christians will begin boycotting Disney – ed.) He worried about the fact that most of us were “unconscious”: we were so abysmally ignorant of the great truths of our Faith… “Be awake, aware, informed!...” ─ he would plead, ─ “Don’t keep Orthodoxy to yourself as though it were some private treasure. Share it!”

• Fr. Seraphim was an inspiration for thousands of people. He gave some of the most inspiring sermons ever uttered in the English language. His constant counsel was: “Never excuse yourself. If you must, or think you must, give way to a weakness, then be certain to recognize it as a weakness and a sin. But see your own faults and condemn not your brother!”

During the latter portion of his life, Fr. Seraphim continually emphasized the need for spiritual attentiveness in preparation for struggles to come. He seemed to have an awareness, a foreknowledge of apocalyptic times ahead. His message was conveyed in a well-known phrase: “It is later than you think!”

• The death of Fr. Seraphim produced a spiritual phenomenon untold of in our times. Lying in state in a crude wooden coffin in the humble monastery church, not only did the body remain soft and life-like in the summer heat, but so comforting was his face that one could not bear to cover it, in the traditional monastic way. Even children could hardly move away from the coffin, since the body brought such internal peace and suggested such love. Everyone was aware that, in our times, among us, a holy man had left in his body a phenomenon that challenges science and our hearts. 

From God’s Revelation to the Human Heart by Fr. Seraphim (St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1987) …Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God? Yes, in a certain sense there is such an organ, though usually we close it and do not let it open up: God’s revelation is given to something called a loving heart. We know from the Scriptures that God is love; Christianity is the religion of love (you may look at the failures, see people who call themselves Christians and are not, and say there is no love there; but Christianity is indeed the religion of love when it is successful and practiced in the right way)… If you ask anyone who knew Archbishop John what it was that drew people to him ─ and still draws people who never knew him ─ the answer is always the same: he was overflowing with love; he sacrificed himself for his fellow men out of absolutely unselfish love for God and for them. This is why things were revealed to him which could not get through to other people and which he never could have known by natural means. He himself taught that, for all “mysticism” of our Orthodox Church that is found in the Lives of the Saints and the writings of the Holy Fathers, the Orthodox faithful always has both feet firmly on the ground, facing whatever situation is right in front of him. It is in accepting given situations, which requires a loving heart, that man encounters God. This loving heart is why anyone comes to a knowledge of the truth…

The opposite of the loving heart that receives revelation from God is cold calculation, getting what you can out of people; in religious life, this produces fakery and charlatanism of all descriptions. If you look at the religious world today, you see that a great deal of this is going on: so much fakery, posing, calculation, so much taking advantage of the winds of fashion…

From the Letters from Father Seraphim (Nikodemos, Richfield Springs, NY, 2001)

• Good heavens! What is happening to people? How easily one gets dragged off the path of serving God into all kinds of factions and jealousies and attempts at revenge.

• I think about... that older generation that is now almost gone, and I want to weep for the young know-it-alls who have missed the point. But the understanding comes only through real suffering, and how many can do that?

• Christians, surrounded by and already swimming in a sea of humanist-worldly philosophy and practice, must do everything possible to create their own islands, in that sea, of other-worldly, God-oriented thought and practice.

• Try to remember that all real Christian work is local ─ right here and now, between myself and God and my neighbor.

• Do you have a notebook for taking down quotes from Holy Fathers in your reading? Do you always have a book of Holy Fathers that you are reading and can turn to in a moment of gloom? Start now ─ this is essential!

• Now one cannot be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely or not at all.

Deacon-monk Makarios Ivanovo Russia