"Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still."
"In these times [c. 440 A.D.], there flourished and became illustrious, Simeon, of holy and famous memory, who originated the contrivance of stationing himself on the top of a column, thereby occupying a space of scarce two cubits in circumference. This man, endeavoring to realize in the flesh the existence of the heavenly hosts, lifts himself above the concerns of the earth, and overpowering the downward tendency of man's nature, is intent on things above. He was adored by all the countryside, wrought many miracles, and the Emperor Theodosius II listened to his advice and sought his benediction.
"Simeon prolonged his endurance of this mode of life through fifty-six years, nine of which he spent in the first monastery where he was instructed in divine knowledge, and forty-seven in the "Mandra" as it was called; namely ten in a certain nook; on shorter columns, seven; and thirty upon one of forty cubits."
Evagrius Ponticus (Ecclesiastical History, I.13)
"Although I be the basest of mankind,
From scalp to sole one slough and crust of sin,
Unfit for earth, unfit for heaven, scarce meet
For troops of devils, mad with blasphemy,
I will not cease to grasp the hope I hold
Of saintdom, and to clamour, mourn and sob,
Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer,
Have mercy, Lord, and take away my sin."
Lord Alfred Tennyson