I have heard people say that one cannot achieve a persistent state of virtue without retreating far into the desert, and I was amazed that they should think that the unconfinable could be confined to a particular locality,… Thus, the desert is in fact superfluous, since we can enter the kingdom simply through repentance and the strict keeping of God’s commandments. Entry into the kingdom can occur, as David states, ‘in all places of His dominion’; for he says, ‘In all places of His dominion bless the Lord, o my soul’ (Ps. 103:22).

Nikitas Stithatos