Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia received members of the women’s and men’s Red Star Basketball Club with professional teams at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, on October 5, 2021.
“I see sport as a spiritual discipline. Sport is a blessed competition in which everyone can do the best of themselves, so even when we happen to lose, it should only be an invitation to even greater effort, to even greater endeavor, with the goal of being even better, to gain virtue. By virtue we recognize, we say it with the Gospel, our neighbors, those with whom we compete, who were more successful than us, and whom we congratulate with love. Then it is a gain for all, a gain for sports, a gain for all people because we are really all close, Patriarch Porfirije said and continued:
“Of course, there is always a greater joy when we are winners, but even in such moments we have again a call to spiritual feat, and that is an attempt to restrain in ourselves what is actually the greatest enemy of every man in life in all fields, and that is the language of the Church, in spiritual language, is called pride, vanity. If we are both winners and the best in everything, and that produces vanity and pride, then we are actually losers in the beginning and everything we have gained becomes counterproductive. We rejoice and pray to God to be victorious, each in his own life, precisely against vanity, against pride, because when we try to nurture virtue and to nurture love in sports, we are always winners.
In mutual harmony, united talents, and united forces and capacities, it will not be a problem for us to love, to respect, to recognize the harmony of others, and when we do so, then we will be on the path of harmony of all people. Then sport becomes the best representative of what we are, it becomes, as it is said today, one of the good and often the best ambassadors of Serbian society, Serbian state, Serbian culture, Serbian history, it becomes a solid stone for a good path to the future,” Patriarch Porfirije pointed out.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church