The initial stages of learning about religious devotion are naturally related to the flesh. For in our first encounter with religion we come into contact with the letter and not the spirit. But as we get nearer to the spirit and refine the materiality of words with the more subtle forms of contemplation, we come to dwell — so far as this is possible for man — purely in the pure Christ, so that we can say with St Paul, ‘Though we have known Christ according to the flesh, now we no longer know Him in this manner’ (2 Corinthians 5:16). That is to say, we no longer know Him according to the flesh because, through the intellect’s naked encounter with the Logos stripped of the veils covering Him, we have advanced from knowing Him according to the flesh to knowing His ‘glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father’ (John 1:14).
~St Maximos the Confessor