“Woe to the road if no one walks along it nor hears in it the voice of man, because it has become the den of wild beasts! Woe to the soul in which the Lord does not pass along its route and from which the Lord does not drive out by his voice the spiritual wild beasts of evil!
Woe to the house where the master does not abide!
Woe to the earth which does not have a farmer to cultivate it!
Woe to the ship without a navigator, because it is carried along by the waves and by the heaving of the sea and is lost!
Woe to the soul which does not have the true navigator, Christ, in it, because finding itself on the sea of frightful darkness and tossed to and fro by the heaving of the passions and beaten by the winter storm of evil spirits, it finally gains perdition!
Woe to the soul when it does not have Christ, cultivating it with care so as to bring forth good fruits of the Spirit; because left sterile and filled with thorns and thistles, its fruit finally is burning in the fire. Woe to the soul when it does not have Christ as its Master dwelling in it, because being abandoned and filled with the foul odor of passions, it finds itself a dwelling place of iniquity.
Just as the farmer, when he girds himself to cultivate the soil, must take the tools and clothing for cultivating, so Christ the King, the heavenly and true cultivator, when he came to humanity made barren by evil, put on the body and carried the cross as his tool and worked the barren soul and removed from it the thorns and thistles of evil spirits and pulled up the weeds of sin and burned up with fire every weed of its sins.
And in this way he cultivated it with the wood of the cross and planted in it the most beautiful paradise of the Spirit, bearing every fruit that is sweet and delectable to God as its owner.”
(Pseudo-Macarius, THE FIFTY SPIRITUAL HOMILIES AND THE GREAT LETTER, pp 184-185)