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22. The Subject of the Passions of the Soul

1. The subject of a thing is that in which the thing resides or occurs. We inquire here about the subject of the passions of the soul. We ask whether these passions really reside in the soul itself. Now, since the soul is the substantial form of a man and so makes him exist as a human being, the soul can be called, fundamentally, the subject of all that pertains to human nature. Since man is the subject of the passions, the soul is the subject of the passions. In another aspect of the matter, we may say that whatever exercises an influence upon the powers or faculties of the soul, belongs to the soul as to its subject. In this sense, too, the soul is the subject of the passions.

2. The passions of the soul belong to the realm of tendency and desire rather than to the realm of knowledge. Passions presuppose knowledge and follow upon it; but they are in the appetitive order, not the knowing order.

3. And, strictly speaking, the passions of the soul belong to the sensitive order, the order of the bodily faculties. Yet the influence of these passions is so readily admitted by the will into the intellective order (the order of the spiritual faculties of the soul), that there is justification for the name of "passions of the soul." Strictly then, the proper subject of the passions of the soul is the sensitive part of man; by justified extension of the phrase of the soul, these same passions are ascribed to the soul itself as their subject, though not their proper subject.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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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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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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