What stirs our passions the most?
Actually, more than what stirs our passions the most, the question to ask should be who makes us most passionate? If we are just passionate about things, certainly we are still very far from the ideal. And even if we are very passionate about some persons, we would still be missing the mark.
Who should make us most passionate is none other than God himself, who is truth, goodness and beauty himself. He is the proper, ultimate and constant object that should stir our feelings, emotions and passions. If we are not yet there, then let’s do something about it. We should extricate ourselves from a condition that is not quite proper for us.
Let’s remember that our passions play an important role in our life and in our relation with others, especially with God. As our Catechism defines them, our emotions and passions are “movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagine to be good or evil.” (1763)
As such, we can say that our emotions and passions play an important and crucial role in our life, since they somehow determine our actions and behavior that show and develop who we are. Are we just a natural being, like the animals and plants, or are we rational persons with spiritual faculties and meant to have a supernatural goal?
We need to see to it that our emotions and passions should reinforce our identity and dignity as persons, made in the image and likeness of God, made children of his through his grace, and meant to participate in the very life of God.
Our emotions and passions which are an integral part of our humanity are not excluded from our over-all goal to be God-like. We would be God-like in our definitive state of life in heaven with our emotions and passions still intact and used to the hilt.
Our emotions and passions serve as a link between our body and soul that are the constituent components of our humanity. We are not spiritual souls only. Our spiritual soul always goes with its corresponding body with its emotions and passions. In heaven and in eternity as it is here on earth and in time, we would still be having emotions and passions.
Thus, we need to educate our emotions and passions in such a way that they work for what is clearly our ultimate end. They should not be allowed to just develop at the instance of our hormones and instincts, nor by the many other blind or short-sighted impulses and trends in our social, cultural, economic, or political environment. They need to be reined in, to be guided and given proper direction.
Obviously, the guiding principles for the education of our emotions and passions should be our faith, hope and charity which truly define us as a person and a child of God. They indicate to us our true dignity that should be affirmed also by our emotions and passions.
This is what we should be doing all the time. We have to be wary of our tendency to give them away to whatever stimulus comes our way. We also have to be wary of falling victim to the false reasoning that by educating our emotions and passions at the instance of our faith, hope and charity, would make us less human, less manly, and ideas of that sort.
What is most certain is that our faith, hope and charity, our intimate relationship with God developed in our spiritual and supernatural dimensions of our life, would only make our humanity purer and perfected, and elevated gratuitously to the supernatural level which is what God wants for us.
Let’s remember that if our emotions and passions are not stirred by our attraction to God as they are by the earthly things, they would not be used in the proper way. God should be who should make us passionate the most!*
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