Catholic Quote of the Day Print
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 05 May 2007 10:25
Via David as part of this discussion at a valuable discussion of zeal and its sometimes toxic effects over at Disputations:

"There are two kinds of workmen equally earnest in their labour. The first build without destroying. They are those who temper their zeal with prudence so as to be useful to every one and to injure no one. These skilful workers do not consider that whatever is possible should be attempted ; on the contrary, they regard as possible and allowable what will serve for the profit of others. If they perceive the slightest signs of the danger of a scandal, or even of the appearance of one, which would have the effect of alienating from them the hearts of men, especially of those whose influence should be considered, they draw back and their humility is the gainer, because through the fault of others, they cannot realize the good which they hoped to accomplish.

The workmen of the second class build and destroy at the same time. They continually cut the thread which they are weaving, they possess zeal, but an inconsiderate zeal ; they allow themselves to be much more carried away by their impetuosity than guided by sound reason ; they have no regard for the grievous consequences which result from the good at which they
aim. In order to gain one soul they sometimes lose ten, and never give it a thought; if they meet with some opposition, they wish that, even if the world should be upset, their grievances should be fully redressed, and they thus change into hostility the good will which their Order had acquired and which it needs in order to promote the glory of God.

"We should not confine ourselves to looking at what zeal for the honour of God, considered in Himself, may require, but we should accommodate that zeal to what our neighbour's profit demands. Zeal for God s honour is neither zeal, nor according to knowledge, except when it is exercised for the profit of others, when it associates God s glory with the salvation of souls, and when it furthers the interests of creatures while seeking the glory of the Creator.
We ought sometimes, if we may so say, to leave God in Himself in order to seek God in our neighbour.

'I will have mercy and not sacrifice," says the Lord.'"

- Ignatius of Loyola