Means of conversion

Play so powerful it can absorb adults, becoming their way of life, may have a meaning that children’s play lacks. While there is an analogy between a child calling a chair a horse and a priest changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, there is also a difference. In play we create and manipulate the rules; in liturgy we act out something that has been handed down to us, and in making it our own we are also responding to the mysterium tremendous. Taking the playful aspects of liturgy into account, we need also to recognize the utterly serious attitudes and intentions of those involved, and the serious effect it has on them. For the monk the play of liturgy is a means of conversion, a way of life. In its deeper satisfactions it confers an abiding sense of peace.

Kathleen Norris
“Monks at Play” in Dakota