Forsooth some gainsetting say: active life is more fruitful; for it does works of mercy, it preaches and works other such deeds ; wherefore it is more meritorious. I say, nay, for such works belong to accidental reward, that is, joy of the thing wrought. And so one that shall be taken into the order of angels can have some meed that he that shall be in the order of cherubim or seraphim shall not have; that is to say joy of some good deed that he did in this life, the which another that without comparison surpasses in God’s love did not. Also ofttimes it happens that some one of less meed is good, and preaches; and another preaches not, that mickle more loves. Is not this one better because he preaches? No; but the one that loves more is higher and better, although he be less in preaching he shall have some meed, because he preached not, that the greater was not worthy of.
Therefore it is shown that man is not holier or higher for the outward works that he does. Truly God that is the Beholder of the heart rewards the will more than the deed. The deeds truly hang on the will, not the will on the deeds. For the more burningly that a man loves, in so mickle he ascends to a higher reward.
-Richard Rolle of Hampole