When, to a pitcher of water, a tiny drop of poison has been added, no one would claim that it is suitable to drink. This is true also of our spiritual life, in which it is not justifiable to choose the path of mediocrity, establishing a compromise between the pure water of virtue and the poison of sin.
Ever since the beginning of Christianity, certain men and women have been called to offer themselves entirely to God: they leave the world to dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer, fasting and penance in intimacy with the Lord. Many obtained such a fame of sanctity that they ended up attracting multitudes – their example awakened in many others the desire of imitating their lives of perfection. Small communities thus originated; and these became the starting point for the great religious orders of the future.