I do not wish to be understood as saying that the thought of everlasting punishment or of a most blessed reward has no value. They are indeed valuable because those given over to them are introduced to the first stages of blessedness. In love, however, there is a greater faith, and the joy of it is forever. Taking hold of them it will lead them from servile fear and from the hope of reward to the love of God and to be adopted as sons. It will, so to speak, make of the perfect those who are still more perfect. ‘There are many mansions in my Father’s house’ (Jn. 14:2), says the Lord. All the stars can be seen in the sky, and still there is a great difference between the brilliance of the sun, of the moon, of Venus, and of the other stars. And so it is that the blessed apostle makes out that love is not only higher than fear and hope, but higher than all the charisms, however great and however marvelous these may be in human reckoning.
* This excerpt is from “John Cassian: Conferences”