Passions

The passions are our drives or energy.  Energy leads us to action.  We have to learn to control them because uncontrolled energy can end up being very harmful.  Just like our feelings, we can’t avoid them, but we can channel their strength for the good of everyone.

Each passion has two aspects, positive and negative, depending on whether or not it leads us to a good or bad end.  For example, we usually say that pride is bad, however, if it’s well trained, it can make a person gain a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction in regard to his family, work, etc.
 
Well-channeled passions are like the motor of our life.  They are behind the greatest achievements in this world.  The most important passion in the life of a Christian should be love – a love capable of doing the impossible for the beloved.  We have to try to guide and cultivate our passions towards the good.
 
There are two kinds of passions: passions of self-preservation and passions of self-fulfillment.

1.     Self-preservation passions: they are the drives that help us achieve the protection of our physical life and the preservation of the human species.  Some examples of such passions are:
-    Desire for rest: the tendency to recover our strength.  Without a balance, the desire to rest can convert into laziness.
-    Sexual desire: the impulse towards people of the opposite sex for the preservation of the human species.  Without a balance, sexual desire can convert into eroticism.
-    Hunger: the tendency to preserve our own life through nourishment.  Without a balance, hunger can lead us to gluttony.
-    Thirst: the preservation of our life by drinking.  Without a balance, the desire to drink can lead to drunkenness.

2.     Self-fulfillment passions: they are the drives that help us achieve the protection of our psychic life.  In other words, it’s the healthy interior strengthening of our own personality.  Some examples of these passions include:
-    The desire to love and be loved.  Without a balance, it can convert into envy or jealousy.  
-    Courage.  Without a balance, it can transform into rashness.
-    The feeling of rejection towards something or someone.  Without a balance, it becomes hatred.
-    Pride.  Without a balance, it can convert into arrogance.  
-    The desire for justice.  Without a balance, it can lead us to anger.

Ways to educate or train your passions:
-    Don’t suppress them, guide them.
-    Find out what passions are dominant in you to be able to gain control of them.
-    Strengthen your will by making sacrifices.  This will help you to control your reactions and impulses.
-    Know and be able to recognize what provokes and awakens your strongest passions in a negative way.  Then be vigilant so you can avoid what causes them to go haywire and protect yourself.
-    Make the most of your strongest passions by guiding them towards great ideals and projects.
-    Be cautious in environments and situations that can easily cause your passions to go haywire, because the one that gets close to water, sooner or later will get wet.