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Your gift supports the vision of a Christian culture that utilizes "the passions" to foster intimacy with Christ and unity with his Church.
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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.
That was Gilbert's explanation for vowing to remain celibate in Italy. It got me thinking of the times in my life when I leaned too heavily on people for comfort and ignored God's outstretched arms. Yes, yes, people are important, but not omnipresent.
Why is it so hard to sit still with God and feel the pain? We have mastered the art of praying: "Please, God, take the pain away"; neglecting to tell Him where it hurts and why it hurts. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn't forget to mention it to the doctor. You wouldn't hobble in and ask Him to prescribe something for pain relief without first allowing him to set the broken bone so it CAN heal.
In my experience, pain is a tunnel. I no longer bother asking God to cut a hole in the top of the tunnel to get me the heck out. I take His hand, and we walk through together. When I can't walk, He carries me. I hurt in His arms until I don't hurt anymore. And when we come out on the other side, it is then that I realize He used that time to heal so much more than what I originally believed to be broken.
Give it a try. Start with small increments of time and describe your pain to the Great Physician. Confess the ways you self-medicate. Take His hand. Sit with Him. And Truth will set you free.
"Be still, and know that I am God . . ." (Psalm 46:10 NKJV).
Published on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 10:42 AM CDT