The newest edition of DOXA, the quarterly review serving the Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael in Canones New Mexico offers a book review “The Thunderbolt of Everliving Fire” by Archimandrite Vasileios of Iveron and edited by Bishop Maxim. The book can be ordered here.
A snippet from the review, or actually from the book:
“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.”