You should know that you have been greatly benefited when you have suffered deeply because of some insult or indignity: for by means of the indignity self-esteem has been driven out of you….
A man who has been assiduous in acquiring the fruits of love will not cease loving even if he suffers a thousand calamities. Let Stephen, the disciple of Christ, and others like him persuade you of the truth of this (Acts 7:60). Our Lord Himself prayed for His murderers and asked the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34)….
If love is long-suffering and kind (1 Corinthians 12:4), a man who is contentious and malicious clearly alienates himself from love. And he who is alienated from love is alienated from God, for God is love….
If a man desires something, he makes every effort to attain it. But of all things which are good and desirable the divine is incomparably the best and the most desirable. How assiduous then, we should be in order to attain what is of its very nature good and desirable….
Stop defiling your flesh with shameful deeds and polluting your soul with wicked thoughts; then the peace of God will descend upon you and bring you love.
~St Maximos the Confessor