Fifty Spiritual Homilies. Homily 43

As in the natural order, when a war is in preparation, the wise men and the great personages do not go to it, but fear death and stay away; and raw recruits, and the poor, and the ignorant are put forward; and it so falls out that they get a victory over the enemies, and pursue them out of their borders, and receive from the king rewards of victory and crowns, and come to promotions and dignities, and those great ones are found to be behind them; so is it in the spiritual order. The ignorant begin by hearing the word, and do the work thereof with the love of the truth in their thoughts, and receive from God the grace of the Spirit; while the wise, and those who seek the word in subtle fashion, these fly from the war, and make no advancement, and are found behind those who fought and conquered.

By Macarius of Egypt

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