Somehow, it feels like the Optina Fathers have been with me in the background for a while. I can’t remember how, but I discovered their morning prayer decades ago. Even though I was a Trappistine (Roman Catholic) nun, I had pasted their prayer on the door of my cell, and I would say it each morning when I left my cell for the first time of the day.
Last year, a parishioner lent me volume 6 in the series, about Fr Sebastian, because it was set in the area where her family had lived.
I really enjoyed it and thought time had come for me to read the whole series. This was confirmed at my visit of the amazing ROCOR monastery in West Virginia, the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, where they have a collection of relics of all the Optina Fathers.
So I just finished reading volume 1, on Elder Leonid.