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59. Moral Virtues and the Passions

1. Although moral virtue is an appetitive habit, it is nota passion. Passion is properly of the sentient order; moral virtuebelongs to the intellective order and specifically to the will.Besides, passions in themselves are neither good nor bad in a moralsense, and moral virtues are necessarily good.

2. The passions (called "passions of the soul"because they rise readily to the intellective order through thewill's permission, and exercise influence there) are compatiblewith moral virtues as long as they remain in line with reason.Indeed, when rightly ordered, the passions enhance moral virtue, asis manifest in the man who exercises the works of justice with loveand joy.

3. Even the passion of sorrow is compatible with moralvirtue if it be sorrow for what thwarts or opposes that virtue.

4. Moral virtues serve the will by giving right directionto all that comes under the rule of reason; this includes thepassions of the soul and the intellectual operations.

5. Moral virtues bring the passions along with them oroverflow into the passions. Thus perfect justice is not a thingcoldly aloof, but joyous; and joy is a passion.

"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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"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 Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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