He who does not attempt to evade the suffering engendered by the fear of eternal punishment, but accepts it wholeheartedly, and even adds to it as he can, will rapidly advance into the presence of the King of kings. And as soon as he has beheld the glory of God, however obscurely, his bonds will be loosed: fear, his tormentor, will leave him, and his heart’s suffering will be turned to joy.
It will become a spring from which unceasing tears will flow visibly and which will fill him spiritually with peace, gentleness and inexpressible sweetness, as well as with courage and the capacity to submit to God’s commandments freely and unreservedly.
This is impossible for those who are still beginners, for it is the characteristic of such as are in the middle of their spiritual journey. As for the perfect, this spring becomes a light within their hearts, suddenly changed and transformed as they are.
~St Symeon the New Theologian