The Lord Himself said that the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Luke 16:8). And He was quite right: for the children of this world long to make good and to grow rich, to be clever and to win praise, to gain power and so on; and even though they are likely to fail in their aspirations and their effort will prove vain, they still exert more than human strength to attain these things. But the children of the kingdom aspire to things that are completely different, and because of this they often receive in this world a foretaste of the blessings held in store. Like the children of this world they exert themselves, but they do this so that by grace their intellect may be liberated and may thereby become unforgettingly mindful of God.
– Peter of Damascus, Twenty-four Discourses: XII: Contemplation of the Sensible World, in The Philokalia, v. iii, tr. By G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), p. 248