Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Thirty-seven Part II and Letter Thirty-eight Part I
We picked up this evening with letter 37. St. Theophan begins by reminding Anastasia that she does not want to belong to the category of one who is neither hot nor cold but lukewarm; having no real desire to please God and no desire for salvation. He doesn’t know if she falls into that category but it is possible that she is simply following along with everyone else in the group; doing what they do. However, she is called to something far greater; She is to do all things in good conscience and it (conscience) is to become for her a kind of new garment. If she seeks to please God and to do his will in all things she will begin to experience something of the peace of the kingdom. Before this happens, however, Anastasia must see and feel the depravity of life outside of God. She must acknowledge the many ways that she has lived her life vainly, letting time simply pass by. Out of this alone will emerge a contrite heart that fosters a deep repentance and desire for the life of God. “Do not let your life pass in vain,” he tells her. “Embrace this path now!”
St. Theophan begins letter 38 by calling Anastasia to consciously renew the vows that were made at her baptism. She simply needs to begin gradually and to do what she is able to do, trusting in the grace and love of God. She must do this, however, with a firm resolve and a belief in the depths of God‘s love. If she does this, all will be well.