Skip to comments.Morality of the Passions [Ecumenical]
Posted on 08/23/2011 5:27:26 PM PDT by Salvation
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
The passions or feelings can help the person in his duty to choose.
Feelings (passions) are movements of the sensitive appetite. These lead us to act or not to act when experiencing a perceived good or evil.
Emotions are a passageway connecting man's life of the senses with his life of the mind. Jesus called this source of human emotions "the heart" (Mk 7:21).
Love (the most fundamental emotion) is attracted by the good causes hope and finds pleasure in possessing its object. In contrast, seeing evil causes hatred, aversion, and fear. This leads to sadness or to anger (to remove the evil).
Passions (feelings) are evil if they love what is evil and they are good if they love what is good.
Passions in themselves are neither good nor evil. They become good or evil as they lead the reason and the will to make a choice. Passions become voluntary when the will commands them or places no obstacle to them. "Moral goodness exists when passions are governed by reason" (St. Thomas Aquinas).
Strong feelings do not decide morality. They are only the inexhaustible reservoir of images and affections. Feelings are good when contributing to good acts. They are evil when leading to evil acts. These feelings can be lifted up by virtues or perverted by vices.
The Holy Spirit mobilizes the whole human person with his sorrows and fears. In the garden, Christ made his human feelings lead to the highest charity (his own death).
Man must choose the good with his will and with his sensitive desires. "My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God" (Ps 84:2).
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