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81. The Sensitive Appetite in Man

1. No appetite is a knowing power, but cognitionalappetite is aroused by knowing. Knowledge lays hold of itsobject; appetite only tends to its object. Hence knowingis sometimes called rest, and appetizing is called movement.

2. Sentient or sensitive appetency is of two kinds. Aconcupiscible appetite is a simple tendency towards what is sensedas good and away from what is sensed as evil. An irascible appetiteis a tendency to overcome difficulty or hindrance in attaining goodand avoiding evil. Thus sentient desire is a concupiscibleappetite; courage or daring is an irascible appetite. These twotypes of appetite or appetency in the sense-order are species ofone genus. They cannot be reduced to one specific kind, forirascible appetency tends to grapple with difficulties from whichconcupiscible appetite tends away.

3. Reason, that is, the thinking mind, can exercise acontrollinginfluence upon the sentient appetency; bythinking, a person can stir up desire or courage; by fixing themind on pacific things, a man can allay anger. The will controlsthe lower appetites by directing the mind's attention toobjects other than those to which the appetites tend. Reason andwill (and these two faculties together are most frequently calledby the simple name of reason) have no absolute or despoticcontrol over the lower appetites; they exercise a politic andpersuasive influence.

"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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