A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality Volume 8 Letters 201-300
The work of the Missionary Letters of Saint Nikolai are completed in this work. We are taken into a world of correspondence between Saint Nikolai and the ordinary people of the 1920s and the 1930s and once more we see that most of the issues discussed in the Letters are as current today as they were 80 or 90 years ago. Once again, we see practical questions and answers which occur in the spiritual struggle. We see people dealing with the same spiritual issues that people deal with today, both positive and negative and we also see the responses of Saint Nikolai, measured with surgical precision and filled with love. As for those few issues which seem distant in a cultural or moral sense, they offer an insight into a somewhat different world and time which, although very similar to our times, did exist in a slightly different paradigm of Christian morals and values. In Letter 280, we also see the beginning of the demise of that Christian society in Serbia that flourished a century ago.
As an addition to this volume, we chose "A Hundred Points of Ljubostinja", a short discourse on the Christian world view written by Saint Nikolai during the time of his imprisonment at the beginning of the Second World War. As hopeful as the era between the two World Wars seemed at the time, it was obviously ending in the worst possible way and all the hopes of a peaceful, civilised Europe that appeared after the First World War, were vanishing fast. From the perspective of someone like Saint Nikolai, this demise of the European civilisation could be observed in relation to the Gospel of Christ and His commandments. It was obvious even during the hopeful era of the 1920s that many societies in Europe were on the wrong path, but as the 1930s passed, any hope for any civilised future of Europe was quickly becoming the thing of the past.
And yet with all these unfortunate developments, we see Saint Nikolai making a beautiful and hopeful exposition of the faith through the 'Hundred Points', the exposition which can be of immeasurable benefit for all of us living in the time of senseless religious pluralism and relativism which is going nowhere fast.
May we be able, once more to absorb the priceless words of the Saint and to thus get to know ourselves better, both in the chambers of our own heart and in the context of the society around us. -- A Word About the Third Volume
Author: St Nikolai Velimirovich