The elder said: "It is not freedom when we say to people that everything is permitted. That is slavery. To improve one must have difficulties. Let's take an example. We have a little tree. We take care of it. We place a stake and tie it with a rope. Naturally we don't tie it with wire because that way we would injure it. With their method they would not constrain the tree; and it doesn't develop properly otherwise. And look at the child. We limit his freedom from the beginning. When he is first conceived the poor thing is limited in his mother's womb and remains there nine whole months. Later he is born and immediately they swaddle him in a blanket, they tie him up, as soon as he begins to grow they set a railing, etc. All of this is necessary for him to grow. It appears to take away freedom, but without these protective measures the child will die in the first moment."Truly, the wisdom of Elder Paisios is a great treasure of contemporary Orthodoxy. This is one of the things that I love the most about Orthodoxy--the Saints aren't just holy people from long ago. We have living, breathing, holy Saints even into the modern world.
The elder said: "Freedom is good when the person can use it appropriately. Otherwise it is a disaster."
This is one of the reasons I want to visit Mt. Athos.