Fr. Vasileios: If you've noticed, children give themselves completely to the game. The Greek word pehnidi (game) is completely tied to the word pedi (child). As time passes, the sun sets and mother comes out to tell the children to go inside because game time is over. On Mount Athos I felt the following: The Mother of us all is the Theotokos. A simple monk from Hilandar, Pavle, used to say that all the Athonites were born of one Mother. The good thing about Mount Athos is that the Theotokos is the Mother of us all and the Holy Mountain is the Garden of the Theotokos. Our Mother lets us play all night, and you feel that the services are a long game.
You play, you give yourself completely to it, until you are completely exhausted. The one who sings wholeheartedly, the one who lights the polyeleos (chandelier), the lamps; it is all a wondrous game because it is true. Our life is a game. Didn't the Lord say that we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless we become like children?
However, we have to pass through all sorts of troubles and checks until we attain that freedom, that wondrous game that never ends.
I think that the Church prepares us not to be officers of an international organization, but for the game without boundaries, and this is actually the goal of the entire creation from the beginning of the world. There was an excursion, a pilgrimage to Russia, and we saw children playing. When St. Seraphim was alive, some children came and played around him. When they came back to their parents, they said they had met another child who had white hair and beard and how they played with him. Such is also the retired bishop of Herzegovina, Atanasije, who is always playing with children.
We have to understand that all this is one great doxology and praise. Life is indeed interesting and intriguing because it is dangerous, risky, and we are given everything for free by God's love. So, God will take care of everything.
— The Thunderbolt of Ever-Living Fire