In the spiritual life there are three stages. In the first stage, God gives the man candy and chocolate, because he sees the weakness of the soul and its need for comfort. In the second, little by little God takes His grace for pedagogical purposes, so that the man realizes that without God’s help he can not do even the smallest thing. Thus the humility is born in man and he feels the need for everything to resort to God. The third phase – that is the constant, unchanging good spiritual condition.
Venerable Paisius the Athonite