8 November 1950
You delighted me with your last letter. You write that you will die a Christian, and I hope and pray that you will. Pray for your husband, but do not pester him and do not tell him to be Orthodox. By your advice you can offend him and push him away from Orthodoxy. Pray and put yourself under God's will and leave all the rest to God's mercy. How was his examination? "
I used to be much more apt to speak to others about their lack by their not being Orthodox until I began realizing that this was tied into my believing such things about anyone who did not see things my way in other matters as well.
I think this is along the lines of what Father John is telling his spiritual child here, that she may be pushing her husband towards Orthodoxy for her own selfish motives. And often times those who are so prodded will entrench themselves further in their position of opposition sometimes merely out of pride.
Wisely, Father John tells her this advice.
Another observation I would like to make here that it seems most difficult to speak of such matters most with those I am most intimate with, with family especially. Perhaps this normal occurrence is partly what the Lord had in mind when He stated,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his own country
and in his own house."
With family and those closest to me I am under constant scrutiny, whether my actions match my words and intentions and this makes for most difficult work in the living of a spiritual life. But nonetheless, we are called to be Christ and this will inevitably cause us to meet opposition of some kind from many quarters both without and within as we battle the old man for supremacy of just who will be manifested: the old man or the new?
Part of this battle is in realizing that others may at times become mere scenery in my little world in which I am the center and my desire for their conversion is nothing more than one more attempt at control in an other's life.
May God save us from ourselves and have mercy.