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Life in Christ

437

obstacles in their way.”

44

It belongs to the perfection of the moral

or human good that the passions be governed by reason.

45

1768

Strong feelings are not decisive for the morality or the

holiness of persons; they are simply the inexhaustible reservoir of

images and affections in which the moral life is expressed. Passions

are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the

opposite case. The upright will orders the movements of the senses

it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an evil will succumbs

to disordered passions and exacerbates them. Emotions and feel-

ings can be taken up into the

virtues

or perverted by the

vices.

1769

In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes

his work by mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears

and sadness, as is visible in the Lord’s agony and passion. In Christ

human feelings are able to reach their consummation in charity and

divine beatitude.

1770

Moral perfection consists in man’s being moved to the

good not by his will alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in

the words of the psalm: “My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living

God.”

46

IN BRIEF

1771

The term “passions” refers to the affections or the

feelings. By his emotions man intuits the good and

suspects evil.

1772

The principal passions are love and hatred, desire and

fear, joy, sadness, and anger.

1773

In the passions, as movements of the sensitive appe-

tite, 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.

44 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I-II, 24, 1

corp. art.

45 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I-II, 24, 3.

46

Ps

84:2.

1803, 1865

30