Choose a topic from Part 2A:

35. Sorrow or Pain

1. Sorrow or pain is a passion of the soul which is burdened by present evil. Pain, as a synonym for sorrow or sadness or grief, is not merely bodily pain from ache, or sore, or wound; it is rather the pain of distress, of worry, of concern.

2. Pain is, first of all, in the sentient order and in the exterior senses. It passes to the interior sense of imagination, whence it is readily admitted into the intellective order and becomes truly a passion of the soul.

3. Pain or sorrow is a passion directly opposed to the passion of pleasure or delight. Pain labors under present evil; pleasure delights in present good. For, while pleasure has no time limits, as we have noted earlier in our study, it is enjoyed as of the present. Even remembered joys or anticipated pleasures, are brought under present consideration in imagination and memory before they are experienced as pleasurable.

4. Not every sorrow or pain is contrary to every pleasure, and pleasure and pain may be associated; thus a man may have sorrow at the loss of a friend, but rejoice in the fact that his friend died a holy death. Pain and sorrow stand opposed in a contrary object; thus the pain of the loss of a friend is opposed to the pleasure of having him alive.

5. The mind is at its best in contemplation, in confronting and dwelling with wisdom. Pain cannot enter here. Pain is not contrary to the pleasure of contemplation, except in what is accidental to contemplation.

6. Pleasure is desired for the sake of good, of satisfaction; pain or sorrow is shunned because of evil. Since good is stronger than evil, the desire for pleasure is stronger than the desire to avoid pain. Accidentally, however, the desire to avoid pain may be the stronger desire.

7. Pain felt in heart or mind is greater and keener than pain felt in the body.

8. St. John Damascene classifies pain or sorrow as torpor (stupefaction), distress or anxiety, pity, and envy.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

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