In whatever work we engage, patience gives birth to courage, courage to commitment, commitment to perseverance, and perseverance to an increase in the work done. Such additional labor quells the body’s dissolute impulses and checks the desire for sensual indulgence. Thus checked, desire gives rise to spiritual longing, longing to love, love to aspiration, aspiration to ardor, ardor to self-galvanizing, self-galvanizing to assiduousness, assiduousness to prayer, and prayer to stillness.
Stillness gives birth to contemplation, contemplation to spiritual knowledge, and knowledge to the apprehension of the mysteries. The consummation of the mysteries is theology, the fruit of theology is perfect love, of love humility, of humility dispassion, and of dispassion foresight, prophesy and foreknowledge. No one possesses the virtues perfectly in this life, not does he cut off evil all at once. On the contrary, by small increases of virtue evil gradually ceases to exist.
~St Gregory of Sinai