Would you think it right if this perishable glory, ephemeral kingdom and other such temporal things were gained only after great toil and sweat by those who hanker after them, while to reign endlessly with Christ and to enjoy inexpressible blessings was something to be gained cheaply and easily, and could be attained without labor and effort by anyone who wished?
What is the purpose of Christ’s advent? The restoration and reintegration of human nature in Him. For He restored to human nature the original dignity of Adam, and in addition bestowed on it the unutterable grace of the heavenly inheritance of the Holy Spirit. Leading it out of the prison of darkness, He showed it the way and the door to life.
By traversing this way and knocking on this door we can enter the kingdom of heaven. As He said: “Ask and it will be given to you…knock and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). By passing through this door it is possible for everyone to attain the freedom of his soul, to cut off his evil thoughts, and to become Christ’s bride and consort through the communion of the Holy Spirit. Such is the ineffable love of the Lord towards man, whom he has created in His own image.
~St Makarios of Egypt