The Precious Pearl
The enjoyment of this present life, though it seems to give delight and sweetness, is well thrust from us. At the very moment of its being it ceases to be, and for our joy repays us with sorrow sevenfold. Its happiness and its sorrow more frail than a shadow, and, like the traces of a ship passing over the sea, or a bird flying through the air, quickly disappear. But the hope of the life to come which the Christians preach is certain and quite sure; howbeit in this world it has tribulation, whereas our pleasures now are short-lived, and in the beyond they only win us correction and everlasting punishment without release. For the pleasures of life are temporary, but its pain eternal; while the Christians labors are temporary but their pleasure and gain immortal. Therefore, right it is to exchange the corruptible for the incorruptible.
- St. John of Damascus