I loved this! And it goes for more than just Catholics (and Orthodox) as well in my experience… ;-)
HT to A conservative blog for peace.
omg this is so right on…especially the organic farmers for social justice. our friends are so just like this. No vaccinations, no mass in english, no birth control, no public school, no private school (not even catholic…not catholic enough). Last time I was over, the husband and kids staged a procession in the living room.
the only difference is, they converted from agnosticism, which means they literally know *nothing* about Christianity that isn’t the annoying catholic convert variety. nothing, not the bible, not the general themes, not the history. Nothing at all.
they are enough to make a girl stay anglican.
While know-it-all-ism is very annoying in all its varieties, there is something about seeing people so excited about their faith. Sure, they could channel it a bit differently, but would that we all had a little zeal…
Been there, done that. I had lost my zealousness early being raised Pentecostal after having been born again and again and again and ad infinitum. But then I converted to Roman Catholicism quite zealously. When I converted to Anglicanism out of a sick heart and chastened to look inward, my zealotry was moved to consider stability instead. Most Anglican converts I know are pretty quiet about the whole thing and I wonder if its not because they been burnt over a few times.
Hence, I distrust zeal (or enthusiasm as we’ve called it) greatly when marshalled outward toward others rather than inwardly toward one’s own passions and discipleship. Outward zeal often in my experience makes hell for others because the zealous are hell to be around. Defending God and damning others are often the worst aspects of zealousness. Someday, I hope to have the peace that Abba Isaac of Ninevah writes of, but the passion of wrath is strong with me:
“A zealous person never achieves peace of mind. And he who is deprived of peace is deprived of joy.
If, as is said, peace of mind is perfect health, and zeal is opposed to peace, then a person stirred by zeal is ill with a grievous sickness.
While you presume to stir up your zeal against the sickness of others, you will have banished health from your own soul. You should rather concern yourself with your own healing. But if you wish to heal those that are sick, know that the sick have greater need of loving care than of rebukes.
Zeal is not reckoned among mankind as a form of wisdom; rather it is one of the sicknesses of the soul, arising from narrow-mindedness and deep ignorance.
The beginning of divine wisdom is the serenty acquired from generosity of soul and forbearance with human infirmities.
For he says, “You who are strong should bear the infirmities of the weak”, and “Put right the transgressor with a humble spirit”. The Apostle numbers peace and long-suffering among the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Someone who has actually tasted truth is not contentious for truth.
Someone who is considered among men to be zealous for truth has not yet learnt what truth is really like: once he has truly learnt it, he will cease from zealousness on its behalf.
The gift of God and of knowledge of him is not a cause for turmoil and clamour; rather this gift is entirely filled with a peace in which the Spirit, love and humility reside.
The following is a sign of the coming of the Spirit: the person whom the Spirit has overshadowed is made perfect in these very virtues.
God is reality. The person whose mind has become aware of God does not even possess a tongue with which to speak, but God resides in his heart in great serenity. He experiences no stirring of zeal or argumentativeness, nor is he stirred by anger. He cannot even be aroused concerning the faith.”
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