I want to tell you this too. Do not start up a special friendship with anyone; otherwise you will suffer many useless sorrows and your life will be full of sighs. Try to put your own little will behind you. Do not undertake great feats and never condemn anyone for anything. Do not take notice of other people's weaknesses, but look at your own, of which you will, of course, find plenty. The passions about which you write we cannot conquer by our own powers
without God's help. We should try to eradicate them, but to overcome them altogether depends on God's grace. You are still young. Do not trust yourself, but be humble until you reach the grave. Life is slippery at your age. However, if something does happen through human weakness, do not be crushed and lose heart; for we are not wiser than Solomon, nor meeker than the prophet David, nor more zealous than the apostle Peter. The Lord knows our human weakness, and He gave us repentance to help us. There is no sin that can conquer God's mercy, and all our sins, whatever they may be, are like a handful of sand thrown into the great ocean, compared with God's mercy.
Our monastery life is still glimmering a little. Many of the old men walk with the help of a stick. There are no newcomers, since at the present time young people are not educated in a religious spirit. According to a remark of Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov, we are already the last monks. However, God's dispensations are incomprehensible to us sinners.
'Lord, thy will be done in everything.'
I pray God's blessing on you; may the Lord and the Queen of Heaven help you in difficult moments. "
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