1Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, 2so there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and everlasting life.So what is this "good zeal" that leads to God and eternal life? Benedict gives his answer:
3This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love: 4They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom. 12:10), 5supporting with the greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body and behavior, 6and earnestly competing in obedience to one another.7No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.This is one of my favorite passages from The Rule. So many great things packed together.
This is the holy passion we must nurture with love:Goodness gracious, what would the church look like if we put everything else aside and worked on "the good zeal"?
Be the first to show respect.
Support each other with great patience.
Patience for the weaknesses of our bodies. And patience for the psychological and moral weaknesses that manifest in our behaviors.
Compete in obedience to see who is quicker to respond to the needs of others.
Do not pursue what is best for yourself but what is best for others.