St. Ephraim the Syrian
Whither wilt thou mount, feeble man? Thou dust that art flung upon dust, let thy conversation be in the dust! Even the dust which is beneath thee is above thee, to search into. If that beneath be too high for thee, how wilt thou attain to Him who is above? If the small dust thy kinsman, from which thou art, is yet hidden from thee, how wilt thou search out the Majesty too high for any to search out?
That dust is in appearance one: it is little and yet great upon searching into it. The dust is one and yet not one, since in its severally it is manifold. One mean bosom generates tastes that can not be numbered; one little treasury sendeth forth ornaments that can not be reckoned….How much can vile dust do which giveth to each of them its increase? To the fruits it giveth their tastes, and with their tastes their colors; to the flowers it giveth their odors, and with their odors their ornaments; flavors it giveth to the fruits, and to the roots aromas; it giveth beauty to the blossoms, the flowers it clothes with adornment. It is the seed’s handicraftsman, it bringeth up the wheat in the ears; the stem is strengthened with knots as a building with bond-timbers, that it may sustain and bear up the fruit, and hold out against the winds….If the dust thou tramplest perplexeth thee in thy search into it, how wilt thou search out the Majesty of Him who with contemptible things maketh thee perplexed?
– From Homily, Concerning the Faith.