Orthodox America


  Confessor of True Orthodoxy


     Just before awakening on the morning of September 2, 1982, when Fr. Seraphim was dying, I saw a dream. I was in the company of a priest unknown to me. who was reprimanding me for my sins. He told me I must never take offense at anyone. Together we entered a large, palatial hall. At the end of this hall a man was standing on a raised platform and singing. It was difficult to see him well because of the distance. In a most beautiful voice, he was singing the Magnification: "My soul doth magnify the Lord..." I said, "I don't hear well." The priest urged me to go closer and I took several steps forward. Then I began very clearly to hear the singing. The singer was a tenor with a voice like Fr. Seraphim's whose singing I had heard years ago in the San Francisco Cathedral. That was in the early 60's. Standing in the cliros, he alone sang the entire Matins service from beginning to end. Never in my life had I heard more prayerful singing. My soul was uplifted to the heights .... Now in my dream, I heard that same incomparable singing. It was the same voice, but it sounded like that of an angel, a dweller of paradise. This was heavenly, unearthly singing.

    Waking up, I understood that there was no hope for Fr. Seraphim's recovery.

     Having the greatest admiration for the newly-reposed Fr. Seraphim, and valuing highly his achievements before God, I would like to write a few words about an attribute of his which is most dear and close to my heart. This is his faithfulness to genuine Orthodoxy. fie did not have the slightest divergence with the teaching of the Church; he did not hold to any personal opinions. My late husband, Ivan M. Kontzevitch, was the same, having several university degrees and, towards tile end of his life completing theological academy. It never entered his mind to sin against the teachings of the Church.

     The teaching of the Orthodox Church is not a product of the minds or the deliberations of the great Fathers of the Church. The Holy Spirit Himself inspired them with this teaching. It is for this reason that Orthodoxy is unshakable. Every offense against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin (Matt. 12:31, 32). Faithfulness to Orthodoxy in our difficult and troubled times is of great value. Fr. Seraphim was a burning and illuminating lamp. He left us his light in his writings. Glory to God for ail things.

Helene Kontzevitch


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