More Progress Means More Hardships — Store up in your minds the Lord’s words which you receive through your ears, for the word of the Lord is nourishment of the mind. When His word is heard but not stored away in memory it is like food which has been eaten and then rejected by an upset stomach.
A person’s life is despaired of if he cannot retain his food. So if you receive the food of holy exhortations, but fail to store in your memory those words of life which nurture righteousness, you have good reason to fear the danger of everlasting death.
Be careful that the seed does not fall along the path for fear that the evil spirit may come and take it from your memory.
Be careful that the seed is not received in stony groud so that it produces a harvest of good works without the root of perseverance. Many people are pleased with what they hear and resolve to undertake some good work, but as soon as difficulties begin to arise and hinder them they leave the work unfinished. the stony ground lacked the necessary moisture for the sprouting seed to yield the fruit of perseverance.
Good earth, on the other hand, brings forth fruit by patience. The reason for this is that nothing we do is good unless we also bear with equanimity the injuries done us by our neighbors.
In fact, the more we progress, the more hardships we shall have to endure in this world, for when our love for the present world dies, its sufferings increase.
This is why we see many people doing good works and at the same time struggle under a heavy burden of afflictions. They now shun eartly desires, and yet they are tormented by greater sufferings.
But, as the Lord said, they bring forth fruit by patience, because, since they humbly endure misfortunes, they are welcomed when these are over into a place of rest in heaven.
Saint Gregory the Great
Saint Gregory the Great lived from 540 to 604 becoming pope in 590. The Gregorian chant is attributed to him.