Zeal

The strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects. This is the discipline that deals with the universe's divine revolutions, the stars' motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings . . . for what is more beautiful than heaven?

Weaken a bad habit by avoiding everything that occasioned it or stimulated it, without concentrating upon it in your zeal to avoid it. Then divert your mind to some good habit and steadily cultivate it until it becomes a dependable part of you.

Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader.

Our evangelizing zeal must spring from true holiness of life, and, as the Second Vatican Council suggests, preaching must in its turn make the preacher grow in holiness, which is nourished by prayer… The world which, paradoxically, despite innumerable signs of the denial of God, is nevertheless searching for Him in unexpected ways and painfully experiencing the need of Him- the world is calling for evangelizers to speak to it of a God whom the evangelists themselves should know and be familiar with as if they could see the invisible. The world calls for and expects from us simplicity of life, the spirit of prayer, charity towards all, especially towards the lowly and the poor, obedience and humility, detachment and self-sacrifice. Without this mark of holiness, our word will have difficulty in touching the heart of modern man. It risks being vain and sterile.

Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. . . True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors… He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven… something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.

In the same decade in which writers are discovering the emotional importance of childhood and are unmasking the devastating consequences of the way power is secretly exercised under the disguise of child-rearing, students of psychology are spending four years at the universities learning to regard human beings as machines in order to gain a better understanding of how they function. When we consider how much time and energy is devoted during these best years to wasting the last opportunities of adolescence and to suppressing, by means of the intellectual disciplines, the feelings that emerge with particular force at this age, then it is no wonder that the people who have made this sacrifice victimize their patients and clients in turn, treating them as mere objects of knowledge instead of as autonomous, creative beings. There are some authors of so-called objective, scientific publications in the field of psychology who remind me of the officer in Kafka's Penal Colony in their zeal and their consistent self-destructiveness. In the unsuspecting, trusting attitude of Kafka's convicted prisoner, on the other hand, we can see the students of today who are so eager to believe that the only thing that counts in their four years of study is their academic performance and that human commitment is not required.

THE lessons of fear which the child receives from its parents are intensified by the methods employed at the school in which he receives his education and life-training. We glory in the fact that we have made great strides in the science of education, that we are more practical in the choice of subjects for study, that we have a deeper insight into the soul of the child. And yet, in our method of imparting knowledge and in the relations between teacher and pupil, we can boast of but little progress. We still look upon the child as a more or less unwilling receptacle that must be stuffed with learning. The teacher is still a being to be feared, the school room still a prison house, and learning a punishment. Our system of education is still based on reward and punishment. A high mark is still the encouragement for zeal in study, while the backward student is haunted by the prospect of a low grade. The child, under present methods, prepares his lessons either in order to gain the reward of a high mark, or for fear of the contempt and humiliation that accompanies a low grade. In other words, he works not because of the intrinsic interest of his work but in the hope of reward or in the fear of punishment. The first motive breeds the harmful spirit of competition in the young mind.

All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.

And you must cultivate intense zeal for God. You must feel love for Him and be attracted to Him.

Discrimination is the knowledge of what is real and what is unreal. It is the realization that God alone is the real and eternal Substance and that all else is unreal, transitory, impermanent. And you must cultivate intense zeal for God. You must feel love for Him and be attracted to Him.

One may enter the world after attaining discrimination and dispassion. In the ocean of the world there are six alligators: lust, anger, and so forth. But you need not fear the alligators if you smear your body with turmeric before you go into the water. Discrimination and dispassion are the turmeric. Discrimination is the knowledge of what is real and what is unreal. It is the realization that God alone is the real and eternal Substance and that all else is unreal, transitory, impermanent. And you must cultivate intense zeal for God. You must feel love for Him and be attracted to Him.

Every deviation from the rules of charity and brotherly love, of gentleness and forbearance, of meekness and patience, which our Lord prescribes to his disciples, however it may appear to be founded on an attachment to Him and zeal for His service, is in truth a departure from the religion of Him, "the Son of Man," who "came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

The hostile multitudes are vast as space What chance is there that all should be subdued?
Let but this angry mind be overthrown And every foe is then and there destroyed
All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself.
All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.
As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world.
Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (just) leather on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it
Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?
My body, thus, and all my good besides,
And all my merits gained and to be gained,
I give them all away withholding nothing
To bring about the benefit of beings.

All those who slight me to my face,
Or do me any other evil,
Even if they blame or slander me,
May they attain the fortune of enlightenment!
Take advantage of this human boat;
Free yourself from sorrow’s mighty stream!
This vessel will be later hard to find.
The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep!
Examine thus yourself from every side.
Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.
Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path
Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.
Examine thus yourself from every side.
Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.
Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path
Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.
Those who have no mental vigilance,
Though they may hear the teachings, ponder them or meditate,
With minds like water seeping from a leaking jug,
Their learning will not settle in their memories.
Suffering also has its worth.
Through sorrow, pride is driven out
And pity felt for those who wander in samsara;
Evil is avoided, goodness seems delightful.
May I be like a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road.
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.
And so let beings do to me
Whatever does not bring them injury.
Whenever they catch sight of me,
Let this not fail to bring them benefit.
For sentient beings, poor and destitute,
May I become a treasure ever plentiful,
And lie before them closely in their reach,
A varied source of all that they might need.
As a blind man feels when he finds a pearl in a dustbin, so am I amazed by the miracles of awakening rising in my consciousness. It is the nectar of immortality that delivers us from death, the treasure that lifts us from death, the treasure that lifts us above poverty into the wealth of giving to life, the tree that gives shade to us when we roam about scorched by life, the bridge that takes us across the stormy river of life, the cool moon of compassion that calms our mind when it is agitated, the fun that dispels darkness, the butter made from the milk of kindness by churning it with the dharma. It is a feast of joy to which all are invited.
All that I possess and use
Is like the fleeting vision of a dream.
It fades into the realms of memory;
And fading, will be seen no more.
Nothing that has passed can be regained.
How much suffering and fear, and
How many harmful things are in existence?
If all arises from clinging to the “I”,
What should I do with this great demon?
Exchanging Self and Other.

Venerable Brothers, Mother Church rejoices that by the singular gift of Divine Providence, the long awaited day has finally dawned. Here at St Peter’s tomb, under the auspices of the Virgin Mother of God... the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is solemnly opened...
‘The greatest concern of the ecumenical Council is that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more effectively. That doctrine embraces the whole of man, body and soul. And since man is a pilgrim on this earth, it commands him to move steadily towards heaven... it is necessary that the Church should never depart from the sacred treasure of the truth inherited from the fathers. But at the same time, she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life in the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate...
‘The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, but the way in which it is presented is another.

It is true you have great reason to distrust yourself; but you have still greater reason to trust in him. If you are inclined to evil, you know that he is incomparably much more inclined to do good, and to do good in and by you. I beg you to make your prayer on this, and during the day to make some elevations of your soul to God, imploring his grace so as to establish you firmly in this principle, so that having cast your eyes on your miseries, you may afterwards ever raise them to his mercies, pausing for a much longer time upon his munificence in your regard than on your own unworthiness in his sight, and much more upon his strength than upon your own weakness, throwing yourself, when you see this, into his fatherly arms in the hope that he will work in you what he asks of you, and that he will bless all you do for his sake. With this, Sir, keep your heart ever ready to receive the peace and joy of the Holy Ghost.

Bourgeois society is infected by monomania: the monomania of accounting. For it, the only thing that has value is what can be counted in francs and centimes. It never hesitates to sacrifice human life to figures which look well on paper, such as national budgets or industrial balance sheets.

When you are going to stand before the Lord, let the garment of your soul be woven throughout with the thread of wrongs suffered but forgotten. Otherwise, prayer will be of no benefit to you.

Truly grand and powerful theories… do not and cannot rest upon single observations. Evolution is an inference from thousands of independent sources, the only conceptual structure that can make unified sense of all this disparate information. The failure of a particular claim usually records a local error, not the bankruptcy of a central theory... If I mistakenly identify your father's brother as your own dad, you don't become genealogically rootless and created de novo. You still have a father; we just haven't located him properly.

Nature is not at variance with Art, nor Art with Nature, they both being servants of His Providence. Art is the perfection of Nature... Nature is the Art of God.

The man of life upright has a guiltless heart, free from all dishonest deeds or thought of vanity.