Choose a topic from Part 2A:

34. Moral Good and Evil of Pleasure

1. Just as desires for good acts are morally good, and desires for evil acts are morally evil, so the pleasures arising from good acts are morally good, and those from evil acts are morally bad.

2. Scripture speaks (Prov. 2:14) of those "who are glad when they have done evil, and rejoice in most wicked things." Not all pleasures are morally good. Yet every appetite is for good, and pleasure comes from satisfied appetite. Now, it must be remembered that the good which an appetite craves is good taken simply. But a man, in a particular choice, may approve and appetize what is merely a good aspect of what is not good simply. And a man may allow this good aspect to mask the whole evil object. Thus evil can be chosen under the guise of good. Evil so chosen can be enjoyed. Such enjoyment is morally evil pleasure. It is bad or sinful pleasure.

3. Man's happiness in heaven, in the vision of God, will include perfect pleasures, and these, of course, will be morally good pleasures.

4. A good will enjoys the work of virtue; an evil will takes pleasure in sinful works. Thus the pleasure of the will in its human acts is a measure of the moral quality of these acts. But sense pleasures are no measure at all of the moral quality of human acts, for a man may have sense pleasure in wrong doing, and may find good deeds difficult and distasteful to sense.

"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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