Let us not then be out of heart for the present evils; for if thou hast any sins remaining, they will disappear, and easily be burnt up by the tribulation; and if thou possessest virtue, thou wilt become thereby more illustrious and distinguished; for if thou art continually sober and vigilant, thou wilt be superior to all injury. For it is not the nature of the trials, but the supineness of those who are tried, that is apt to cause their overthrow. So that if thou desirest to rejoice, and to enjoy ease and pleasure, seek neither for pleasure nor ease, but seek for a soul full of patience, and one that is able to manifest fortitude; since if thou hast not this, not only will trial conquer thee, but tranquillity itself will destroy and overthrow thee yet more signally.
For to prove that it is not the attack of evils, but the supineness of the mind which subverts our salvation, hear what Christ saith:
Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And again: Everyone who heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
Do you perceive that it was not the attack of these trials that produced the overthrow, but the folly of the builders? For here was rain, and there again rain; here were floods, and there again floods; here the beating of winds, and there again the same. The one man built a house, and the other built a house. The building was the same; the trials were the same; but not the same end; because there was not the same foundation. For the folly of the builder, not the nature of the trials, caused the fall of the building; otherwise, the house that was founded upon the rock should have fallen, whereas nothing of that sort happened. But do not suppose that these things were spoken merely of a house; for the subject relates to a soul, giving proof by its works that it hears the divine word, or rejects it.
John Chrysostom, The Homilies of S. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople