"In the beginning, there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing toward God and, afterward, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire: at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek. (As it is said, 'Our God is a consuming fire.') So we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work."
--Amma Syncletica, a Egyptian desert mother (4th century)