I marvel at God’s wisdom, at how the most indispensable things — air, fire, water, earth — are readily available to all.
And not simply this, but things conducive to the soul’s salvation are more accessible than other things, while soul-destroying things are harder to come by.
For example, poverty, which anyone can experience, is conducive to the soul’s salvation, while riches, which are not simply at our command, are generally a hindrance.
It is the same with dishonor, humiliation, patience, obedience, submission, self-control, fasting, vigils, the cutting off of one’s own will, bodily enfeeblement, thankfulness for all things, trials, injuries, the lack of life’s necessities, abstinence from sensual pleasure, destitution, forbearance — in short, all things conducive to the spiritual life are freely available. No one fights over them. On the contrary, everyone leaves them to those who choose to accept them.
— St. Peter of Damascus
This section from the Philokalia is quoted in Fr Aidan Wilcoxson’s Aidan’s Song; Fr Aidan cites it as an example of the Saint’s “wry humor”.