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Your prayers are requested - Mark Fletcher - 15-02-2007

Your prayers are requested for my dear friend Jean Marian Munt (nee: Mayes) date of birth: 30 November 1929. Please ask that she will choose to accept Salvation from Jesus before she becomes too old, ill or infirm to do so. Her physical health is not too good. Ask that she will choose to attend Divine Liturgy at Chatham, and that she will experience there the Lord Jesus as her personal Saviour. Thank you.

Prayer - John Charmley - 15-02-2007

Dearest to Christ Mark,

Yes, I will add my voice to your own in this prayer.

Be patient though. One naturally wants those one has love for to experience what one has oneself, but one of my lessons has been to leave it to prayer and to Almighty God - as St. Isaac the Syrian has it, 'Are you wiser than God?' No, I'm not, and I'd better assume He'll answer my prayer as most expedient for me.

But, as you probably know already, it can get a bit frustrating for mere humans, one of whose sins is to think we always know best.

His will be done - and I shall pray that it will be.

You are both in my prayers, always, and I shall say a special prayer for you both.

I sense, dear Mark, that you know where the path lies for you - now comes the hard part - for I am sure that the Evil One will try his worst to tempt you away, and he will use whatever he has to hand. I hope this doesn't sound silly, but do you cross yourself regularly? Since I began that practice regularly, and began to practice the Jesus Prayer regularly, I have found that the Evil One has been less able to get at me; I know he still tries, but I feel a sense of protection I never had before.

In the love of Christ,


Thank you - Mark Fletcher - 15-02-2007

Thank you for your kind posting, John, which made me cry. Having attended Divine Liturgy at Chatham, I find that tears come very easily when I think of Our Lord and the Great Sacrifice He made.

I feel that you are correct in what you have said. In response to a previous posting of yours, which I felt was inspired by the Holy Spirit, I sent a letter to Father Michael (with a copy to Abba Seraphim) saying that I would like to become a member of the British Orthodox Church, but truthfully outlining the extent of my past sinfulness and sinful propensities. I can only say that I have felt the spiritual support of others quite powerfully over the last few days, and I am beginning to realise the seriousness of making a commitment to the Christian Path.

Having found the Pearl of Great Price, I feel as though I am prepared to make the necessary sacrifices. I am however rather afraid that I will end up casting it before the swine of my own foolish behaviour and lust.

I don't mean to be melodramatic, but I wished that I had put in the letter to them both that I would like them to pray for me both now and when they are in Heaven with Our Lord after they pass through the curtain separating here from the hereafter. It's not for me to comment on the holiness of others, but sometimes you would have to be spiritually deaf and blind not to notice that some people have gone some way on the path of theosis.

I pray for strength and courage in future, but I am completely confident that Father Michael and Abba Seraphim are guided by the Holy Spirit. I will therefore accept their response (or non-response) to my letter as the Will of God for me. Thank you for your kindness and prayers.

I love Marian very much, and the thought of her not finding Salvation in Jesus causes me to feel considerable pain. Hence my request.

Prayer - John Charmley - 15-02-2007

Dearest to Christ Mark,

You have found the pearl of great price, and Our Lord; now, and always, come the trials, but now you face them leaning on His strength - and with the aid of Fr. Michael, Abba Seraphim and the support of the Church; as you grow and get stronger, you may even feel, at times, you don;t need the support - those are the times you need it most!

It is a serious commitment - but the thing I never realised is the joy that comes from that commitment; Orthodoxy is joy. I'm not a great one for 'enthusiasm', but goodness me, there are times I could shout with the joy of what I have discovered. Totally unsuspected, I have to say, but there it is; and in that sense, the opposite of being 'pi'.

Accept, in obedience, the loving counsel of Abba Seraphim and Fr. Michael; I shan't embarrass either by saying anything about them, but I see from your post you know what I mean. When I became a catechumen, I thought the process might take years, and was prepared for that, so when Abba Seraphim suggested I was ready, I balked - until I remembered to take the counsel I have offered to you; he knew best. To be with Abba Seraphim and Fr. Michael is, in itself, an inspiration, and you know they have the experience and the love to guide you as is needful. To trust in them is, indeed, to trust in Him whom they serve.

As you may have intuited, I do understand what you write about Marian, because my feelings for my wife go in that direction; but if it is His will, it will be done, and I will do only harm by trying to influence my wife. As it is, she is still more than a little amazed at her reaction to Sunday's events; and I know whose work that is!

Glory be to the Lord Most High, who moves in ways mysterious to us, His children, but whose concern is for us, and who has redeemed us through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe and we trust in Him, so let us act on that.

Keep praying, my dear Mark, and remember, He died that you might live - and that Marian also might be brought to Eternal Life. I sense your growing, and I sense the troubles and the shadows; so take care, my dear brother in Christ, and our prayers are with you - both.

In Christ,