fire in handsJust as gold tarnished in depth (cf. Jms. 5:3) cannot be properly purified and restored to its proper brightness unless it is cast in the fire and thoroughly hammered with mallets, so when the soul has been tarnished with the rust of sin and become thoroughly useless it cannot be cleansed and recover its original beauty unless it meets many trials and enter into the furnace of tribulations.

St. Symeon the New Theologian