Dr. Constantine Cavarnos had a conversation with a hermit on Mount Athos:
“Why did I come here? You will ask me,” said the hermit, whose name was John. “For the sake of eternity. Our life here on earth, whether we are plain folks, scientists or professors, princes or kings, will inevitably come to an end. When we die, these titles and capacities will mean nothing, absolutely nothing. The only thing that will matter then will be the quality of our soul, whether it is good or bad, whether we have saved it or lost it. Heaven and hell are everlasting, whereas our earthly life is insignificantly brief.”
Constantine Cavarnos, Anchored in God: An Inside Account of Life, Art, and Thought on the Holy Mountain of Athos (Athens: 1959), p. 183.