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The Eternal Perspective of Emotion

God endowed Man with passions, or feelings/emotions (CCC 1771), to assist Man towards moral perfection (CCC 1770) and beatitude (CCC 1762).  Emotions (meaning “to move out”) are natural components of human psychology that connect the senses and the mind (CCC 1764) and are not inherently good or evil (CCC 1767).  Emotions do incline Man to embrace good/virtue or evil/vice (CCC 1763, 1774); they become good when they incline the will/reason towards good or become evil when they incline the will/reason towards evil (CCC 1768).  Emotions inclined to beatitude include love, joy, peace and happiness (CCC 1718, 1024, 1029).  Other emotions include fear and sadness (CCC 1772).  Some emotions are inclined toward/or are always evil including pride, lust, envy, jealousy, anger, greed, gluttony (CCC 1852, 1866), despair (CCC 2091) and hatred (CCC 2303).  One cannot love and engage in evil emotions at the same time (CCC 1825-26).

When Emotions become Evil

At Eden, emotions became perverted and evil in Man.  Before falling to temptation, Adam and Eve were envious of God and full of pride; after eating the fruit they felt lustshame and fear (Gen 3:1-22).  After Eden, Genesis records Man’s continued perversion into sin and evil emotions: Cain is filled with envy and murderous anger (Gen 4:1-16); Noah falls to drunken gluttony and Ham lusts after his mother (Gen 9:18-28), the builders of the Tower of Babel are filled with pride; Sodom is consumed with lust; Laban deceives Jacob in greed (Gen 29:25); Simeon and Levi burn with rage and murder (Gen 49:5-7) and Joseph’s brothers are filled with jealousy and hatred (Gen 37:4).

The Emotions of Jesus Christ

Jesus demonstrates the perfect engagement of human emotions:

Jesus instructs Man how to properly engage the emotions:

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