To embrace zeal is to take that intense interest and passion for God and faith, and act upon your strong desire to please God, based upon knowledge of what is true, tempered with love and humility. For example, the love of God and faith is so strong that persecuted Christians will not temper their zeal. No degree of violence and coercion will make a zealous person deny Christ, when that person is zealous about the Christian faith. The atrocities that we see happening in the Middle East against Christians, only serves to create many more saints who are martyred for their faith. They are witnesses to Christ. Yet, zeal for God and one’s faith does not always correlate with martyrdom. Saint Louis de Monfort is a good example of where zeal for God and the faith did not ultimately result in martyrdom.
Saint Louis de Monfort was a French Catholic priest, at the dawn of the 18th century, who taught the faith tirelessly to bring souls to Christ through the Virgin Mary. At one point in his priestly life, he literally walked, yes walked, 1,000 miles from his hometown in France to Rome to seek the pope’s wisdom and counsel, and then he walked the 1,000 miles home again “where he continued to preach, write, and patiently bear his sufferings out of love for Jesus, Mary and souls.” 1 He was not martyred, but died of an illness in 1716 C.E.
So, why should you embrace zeal, and find that intense interest and passion for God and your faith? You embrace zeal because you love God and want to please Him. Find what gives you passion regarding your faith. Seize the zeal and run with it, knowing that God, your guide, is by your side every step of the way.
How do you practice zeal? Well address that question in our next reflection on the virtue of zeal. Don’t miss it!
Footnote: 1 Gaitley, Michael. 33 Days to Morning Glory. p. 32 Stockbridge: Marian Press. 2011. Print