To attain spiritual knowledge there is no other route except the following, which has been so aptly described by one of the prophets: ‘Sow integrity for yourselves, reap a harvest of the hope of life, light up within you the light of knowledge’ (Hos. 10:12). First, then, we must sow integrity for ourselves, that is, we must propagate real perfection in us with the works of justice. Second, we must reap the hope of life. In other words, the fruits of spiritual virtue must be gathered by way of the expulsion of the sins of the flesh and in this way it will be possible for us to turn on the light of knowledge within us.
St. John Cassian