Wednesday, October 7, 2009
[Our father among the saints, Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović (Николај Велимировић, January 5, 1880 - March 18, 1956, also rendered Nicholas) was bishop of Žiča in Serbia and the author of several Orthodox books.]
The present time should be one of self-criticism. The European race now needs this self-criticism more than any other race, and the Christian Church needs it more than any other religion in the world, for before this War the European race set itself up as the critic of the defects and insufficiencies of all other races, and the Christian Church exalted herself over all other religions "as high as the heaven is exalted over the earth." The other races and religions thought that behind this proud criticism of Christian Europe there must be at least a well-possessed security for the world-peace. Of course it was an illusion. On no continent was the peace of mankind more endangered than in Europe, the very metropolis of Christianity and Christian civilization. And it has been so not only during the last few years, it has been the case during the last thousand years, that Europe has represented a greater contrast to peace than any other continent. During the last thousand years history can report more wars, more bloodshed, and more criminal unrest in Christian Europe than in the heathen countries of the Far East--China, Japan, and India. It is a very humiliating fact, both for the white race and for its religion, but, nevertheless, it is a fact. This humiliating fact should rouse us in the present painful times to the consideration of our own defects and insufficiencies. Europe is sick, and her Church is sick too. How can a wounded man be healed unless his wounds are unveiled? Europe's soul is sick, therefore her body is so sorely suffering and bleeding. Well, Europe's soul is nothing else than Europe's religion, but the religion of Europe today is not Europe's guide and lord, it is Europe's most obedient servant.