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What are the passions?
"The passions are the feelings, the emotions or the movement of the sensible appetite--natural components of human psychology--which incline a person to act or not act in view of what is perceived as good or evil. The principle passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger."
(Compendium CCC, 370. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2006) The Compendioum's source on this topic is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.
More today on the manifestation of "fight" in "fight or flight" previously introduced in Part 1. (Scroll down if you missed it.) Here's a personal story shared with sincere hope that rays of mercy illuminate God's unfailing love in human frailty.
Here Comes Your Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown
For a longer period of time than I'd like to confess, it didn't take much to "ruffle my feathers." I saw conflict as an open invitation to verbal combat.
All forms of combat must eventually come to an end. The warring parties agree to cease fire, and then they must face the emotional wounds of those who are innocently affected by war--children. Children were not created to lie in bed at night with pillows wrapped around their sweet heads in an attempt to quiet the sounds of the war down the hallway. Sadly, my own children (now adults) have done just that.
Today, it's no longer my nature to shout at the top of my lungs. Today, I understand that disagreements are not a call to war. I'm aware that my destructive reactions to conflict stemmed from the depravity of my childhood. And I am reconciled in Christ. Forgiven. By God's grace and merciful love, I am the mother He created me to be. The parent I longed for as a child.
If you've recently lost your temper with a loved one, don't beat yourself up over it. No condemnation in Christ, remember? (Romans 8:1) Take responsibility for your actions. Confess, receive forgiveness, make amends where you can. Ask God to reveal what motivated you to behave this way in the first place. And remain open to His answer. He will answer. The real mystery is, how will you respond to the insight imparts?
"Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found in the upright" (Proverbs 14:9).
1. Do you have a tendency to rant and rave when you feel threatened?
2. What does this look like behind closed doors?
3. What would you like to do differently?
Eternal Father, I am not myself today. I haven't been myself in a long while. Have mercy on me and my loved ones. Sometimes I trust You, other times I struggle. I want to trust You with my pain, but I'm afraid. Grant me the grace to continue to seek You and believe that one day my past will truly be behind me. Forgive me for the destructive reactions I have behind closed doors. Redeem me. Teach me to let You love me. Teach me to love myself and others. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Published on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 @ 8:47 AM CDT