A Continuation of the Study of St. Catherine of Bologna’s Seven
Of the First Weapon
The first weapon I call zeal, that is solicitude in doing good, since the Holy Scripture condemns those who are negligent and lukewarm in the way of God. The office of the Holy Spirit is to inspire in us good inspirations, while our duty is to accept them and put them into operation by waging continual violence against our sensuality which always invites us to what is contrary to what the spirit wills. Therefore, it is necessary to resist it with true diligence and not to let the time granted to us pass by without acquiring the fruit of good works, as it is written:
Whoever wishes to go up, let him rest not
From thoughts, from speaking works and doing deeds
And always exerting himself in God
but with discretion, so that when our adversary, like a wicked traitor, assails us from ambush, we can defend ourselves. By “from ambush” I mean, when under the appearance of good he wishes to kill you, for there is as much danger in too much as in too little. And so I tell you “with discretion,” aware that this virtue establishes and perfects all the other virtues according to what was said by the glorious teacher of the ancient holy fathers, that is, St. Antonio of Vienna.
So it is proper for us to exercise with true discretion all the spiritual and temporal virtues. However, when the enemy sees that he cannot impede the servant of Christ from doing good, he will seek to entice her with doing too much. So exercise all the virtues in proper measure that the weapon of true and diligent discretion may be exercised by us for our salvation and for the praise of Christ. Amen.