Our desires for love, intimacy, joy, pleasure, and the feeling of being truly alive all come from and are part of our desire to be with God. Some ways of acting on these desires are healthy and draw us closer. Others are capable of plunging us into deeper and deeper confusion and pain. We must be careful neither to automatically dismiss whatever is pleasurable as useless or evil nor frivolously embrace all that feels good as harmless or positive. As with anything else, discernment is wise and necessary, while judgmentalism is destructive.
Human beings have within them the drive to experience and satisfy varied passions. If they are unaware of the noble aspect of passion, or at least not conscious of how to develop themselves with regard to it, they will often seek out the more harmful sources and outlets. Alternately, they may hold passion itself as a demon imprisoned within them, attempting to deny themselves and others its free flow in any manner. Whether by carelessness or suppression, passion is corrupted, and the individual with it.
Whether a passion is a noble art or simply a low greed is not always dependent on what it is a passion for. Erotic desire, a taste for fine food, and the drive to reach the height of one's profession are all examples of passions that are noble or not depending on what is in the heart and mind of the passionate one. Are you confused about what you want or why you think you want it? How are you getting what you are after? Is it appropriate to sacrifice what you want, at least some of the time, for something else that may be more important? Are you able to realize when this might be the case? Can you make that sacrifice when it is called for? Do you know when it might be best to put your passion ahead of other things? If passion is to be an art, you must ask the right questions and not hide from the true answers.
Let us not allow ourselves to be dull or strangled in our hearts any more than we would permit it in our minds. We need not be totally reckless in order to be filled with vitality, just as we need not be under constant lock and key in order to avoid foolish decisions.
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