As long as I remain imperfect and refractory, neither obeying God by practicing the commandments nor becoming perfect in spiritual knowledge, Christ from my point of view also appears imperfect and refractory because of me. For I diminish and cripple Him by not growing in spirit with Him, since I am ‘the body of Christ and one of its members’ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
~St Maximos the Confessor
An obdurate soul does not notice when it is whipped and so is unaware of its benefactor….
A soul defiled by the passions becomes obdurate; it has to undergo knife and cautery before it recovers its faith….
A wise man pays careful attention to himself, and by freely choosing to suffer escapes the suffering that comes unsought.
~St Thalassios the Libyan