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Friday, July 25, 2014

Passions of The Heart

The Catholic Church teaches:

1772 The principal passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger.

1773 In the passions, as movements of the sensitive appetite, there is neither moral good nor evil. But insofar as they engage reason and will, there is moral good or evil in them.

1774 Emotions and feelings can be taken up in the virtues or perverted by the vices.

1775 The perfection of the moral good consists in man's being moved to the good not only by his will but also by his "heart."


As always, Holy Mother Church cuts right to the chase and demonstrates how much God the Father respects His Human creatures.

To understand that there is neither good nor evil in the passions we have is a comfort. We feel. We feel because we are human. We are human, made in the image and likeness of God and so our feelings, our passions, cannot in and of themselves be either good or evil.

Ah, but when those passions engage our reason and our will, then either good or evil can manifest. Our emotions can be either virtuous or perverted by vice. It is our choice.

I am sure we have all met that grown up Catholic who tells us that they were taught that 'thinking about committing a sin is the same as committing it'. I can vaguely remember being taught that as well - and thinking the same thing as a child. Shoot, if thinking it is the same as doing it then why not just do it...I am in trouble either way.

However, as a mature Catholic I can start to understand the difference between thinking about wanting to grab that person's stuff and running off with it and then stopping my thinking and realizing doing so is a sin and just sitting and dwelling on taking that stuff. Playing with the idea. Planning the heist. Thinking over and over how much I could use it, how they don't deserve it and I really really want it. Even if I pull myself back from the brink and do not commit the act, I have taken myself so close to the edge of sin it is important to go to God and ask for forgiveness.

Why?

Well, the obvious answer is because I offended God. The less obvious answer is that I receive the Sacramental Grace to not go there again. I receive what I need to unite my thoughts more firmly with the Will of God the Father, my sufferings with the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and my actions in adherence with the Love and Will of God The Holy Spirit. I become more likely to live a Trinitarian, Sacramental life.

I have less chance of hurting someone. I have a better chance of forgiving those who may hurt me. I have a GREAT chance to be appreciate what I have, what great gifts I receive every day in the form of friendship, laughter, opportunities to serve.

I have a better chance of living as I should live - as a Catholic Out Loud.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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