Thought for the Day – 18 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Our Passions are not essentially sinful.
They can open the way to evil but, they can also lead us towards perfection.
Everything depends on how we control and direct them.
They are impulses which are, at the same time valuable and, dangerous.
Human nature was wounded as a result of original sin.
The soul was disobedient to God and the lower faculties rebelled against right reason.
Hence, the disturbance of our passions.
What should our attitude be in regard to this problem?
Should we suppress or obliterate our passions, as some of the Stoics would have done?
It is, in fact, impossible to do this, for our passions are innate natural forces which cannot be destroyed.
What we should do, is guide and control them.
If the dykes are burst, a strongly flowing river can cause havoc but, if it’s course is wisely directed, it irrigates the soil and makes it fertile.
It is the same with our natural inclinations, which “can be used to form a saint but, can also make a brigand” (Mariano Cordovani OP, Breviario Spirituale, p88).
A man with a fiery and aggressive temperament, can use his natural impulses under God’s guidance, to combat vice in himself and in others.
One who is haughty and ambitious by nature, can convert his ambition into a quest for the true and lasting glory of Heaven.
Finally, a passionate man who feels the need to love and to be loved, can find a partial remedy in Christian friendship.
Most of all, however, he can find repose in the love of God.”