Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What is Zeal that Is Necessary for Salvation?

When the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our heart we have what is called Zeal.  We can think of the Apostles and how they were empowered by the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  They then were able to go out and spread the Good News even though it meant they put their life at risk. We we are awakened to the direct presence of God we find that our faith is strengthened and we too have a zeal that is hard to contain.  It is a new energy to do the will of God and to strive to be in His presence constantly.
Saint Theophan says,
Spiritual zeal is completely given over to pleasing God and the salvation of the soul. It is full of the fear (awe,respect) of God, and he continually keeps its attention on Him, taking care in every way not to allow anything in the thoughts, feelings, words, or deeds that is not pleasing to God, as directed by the conscience that he keeps as pure as a mirror.  It guards it's hart from any attachment to anything, except for God and Divine things, and by its hopes it moves into another world, having cut off all earthly cares. It does not shun that which is needed for temporal life, but everything related to the here and now is for it an attachment, and there is really only one important thing, pleasing God and salvation. 
The commitment that is required is total. We need the zeal the comes from the Holy Spirit to have the proper perseverance and diligence.

St. Paul says that we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1–2)
Seek always the Holy Spirit. 

Reference: The Spiritual Life, pp 115-119 

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