St. Nikolai Velimirovic Bishop of Ochrid and Zhicha
No and Yes.
No—for a great man; Yes—for a saintly man.
No—for pride; Yes—for humility.
No—for individualism; Yes—for panhumanism.
No—for longing after pleasure; Yes—for longing after suffering.
History has proved that a great man is impossible and, even more, undesirable, and that a saintly man is both possible and desirable. It is proved also that a so-called great man meant a great danger for mankind; a saintly man never could be dangerous. We do not need great men at all, we need good and saintly men. We ought not to seek after greatness, but after goodness and saintliness. Greatness is no real virtue, but goodness and saintliness are virtues. Greatness is only an illusion, but goodness and saintliness are realities. Christianity came to impress these realities on the human conscience and to sweep illusions away.
The whole history of Christianity is a continual struggle between realities and illusions. All the wars between Christians and pagans, and between Christians themselves, from the time of Christ until our time, had always the same meaning—a struggle between the Christian realities of goodness and saintliness and the pagan illusions of greatness. The present War has the same meaning as all the wars since Christ came until Bismarck. This war was prophesied by Dostojevsky forty years ago. Dostoievsky was the only contemporary man towards whom Nietzsche felt respect and even fear because of his deep thought and clairvoyance. With his genial insight into human nature, Dostojevsky saw clearly the inevitable conflict of the different camps of Europe, whose apparent and hypocritical peace was only a busy preparation for conflict. “Everything will be pulled down,” he said, “especially European pride.” He had also a vision of what will come after this great conflict. “Christ,” he said, “nothing else but Christ Himself will come in the form of panhuman brotherhood and panhuman love.”