Saint Benedict and Good Zeal

Three Episodes from the Life of St Benedict (1), Neroccio de’ Landi, 1475, Florence, Italy

Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and everlasting life. This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love: “They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other” (Rom 12:10), supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. No one is to pursue what they judge better for themselves, but instead, what they judge better for someone else… Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may Christ bring us all together to everlasting life.

Rule of Benedict, Chapter 72, The Good Zeal of Monks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.