Narrow is the way of life, and broad the way of torment; prayer is able to bring a man to the house of the kingdom. This is the perfect work; prayer that is pure from iniquity. The righteousness of man is as nothing accounted. The work of men, what is it? His labour is altogether vanity. Of Thee, O Lord, of Thy grace it is that in our nature we should become good. Of Thee is righteousness, that we from men should become righteous. Of Thee is the mercy and favour, that we from the dust should become Thy image. Give power to our will, that we be not sunk in sin!
- St. Ephrem the Syrian, A Homily on Admonition and Repentance, par. 7.