The patient endurance of the saints exhausts the evil power that attacks them, since it makes them glory in sufferings undergone for the sake of truth. It teaches those too much concerned with a life in the flesh to deepen themselves through such sufferings instead of pursuing ease and comfort; and it makes the flesh’s natural weakness in the endurance of suffering a foundation for overwhelming spiritual power. For the natural weakness of the saints is precisely such a foundation, since the Lord has made their weakness stronger than the proud devil.
The written law, by preventing wrongdoing through fear, accustoms one to do what is right. In time such custom produces a disposition filled with the love of righteousness, and this in turn produces a settled state of goodness, obliterating the memory of past sins.
~St Maximos the Confessor