Choose a topic from Part 2A:

24. Moral Good and Evil in the Passions

(a) because of the reaction of lower to higher appetitesin man, or

(b) because the will directly arouses the sentientappetites so as to have their prompt cooperation. In good acts,consequent passion indicates the will's intensity in good; whendirectly stirred up by the will, consequent passion increases thegoodness of the good act. Thus, for instance, a man may directlyrouse up courage to help him perform some difficult duty. Here thegood act is all the better for having courage joined to goodpurpose.

1. The passions of the soul as movements of man's sensitive part are outside the scope of moral classification; they are neither morally good nor morally bad. But in so far as these passions are truly of the soul because the will accepts them and renders them voluntary, they have moral goodness or moral evil.

2. When the will permits a disorder, an inordinateness, in the passions they are evil. But passions rightly controlled by reason (that is, the intellectually illuminated will) are the occasions of virtue, not of vice. Thus, for example, love, hope, and desire enhance, and do not defile, the will's drive for good.

3. Therefore passions controlled by reason are morally good. A good act performed with feeling as well as with intention is all the better for thus coming more completely from the whole man. But when passions rise suddenly or strongly before the will can choose its act (and they are then called antecedent passions), they obscure the mind's judgment and the will's ready control, and thus they tend to diminish or destroy the goodness of a human act. When passion follows the will-act (and this is consequent passion) it does so either

4. Passions take their own specific good or evil quality from that of the act to which they incline a man.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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