The Passions

Christ displays the Passion of Anger during the Cleansing of the Temple - by GIORDANO, Luca - from Bob Jones University Collection, Greenville . . . . Christ's Senses of Sight, Hearing and Smell arouse His Justified Anger against those defiling the Temple.


brain.jpe (39337 bytes)
[Love/Hatred, Desire/Aversion, Joy/Sorrow, Hope/Despair,
Fear/Courage, Envy/Lust/Anger]

Frontal Lobe: Controls how we react to situations Emotionally (Passions).

Sensitive Appetite
Five (5) External Senses

[Touch, Smell, Hearing, Sight, Taste]

Cerebrum: Controls how we respond to different Sensory signals (Sensation).
Parietal Lobe: Controls our Sense of Touch.
Occipital Lobe: Controls our Sense of Vision.
Temporal Lobe: Controls our Sense of Hearing.

Four (4) Internal Senses
[Sentient Consciousness, Imagination, Sentient Memory, and Estimation]


The Passions

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Natural Order

Body/Inferior Will/
Sensory Appetite/

Rational Appetite
(Dominant Partner)


from various sources

angelbar.gif (3645 bytes)

Definition of Passion

Human Body

Psychosomatic Powers
Sensitive Appetite

Love/Hatred, Desire/Aversion,
Joy/Sorrow, Hope/Despair,
Fear/Courage, Envy/Lust/Anger,

(Latin: passio, a Suffering, an Affection)

A Desire or Emotion in which excitement reaches an Intense Degree. The Passions are Movements or Tendencies of the Sensitive Appetite toward a Sense Good or away-from a Sense Evil. The Sensitive Appetite tends toward the Good of the individual Animal Life or the Life of the Species. The Passions therefore are of the Sensitive or Animal Order and are found in the Animal as well as in Man. Emotions in Man, such as Surprise or Laughter, that are not concerned with Good or Evil, are not Passions. Again such Tendencies in Man as are not concerned with the Good or Evil of Sense, but with Intellectual or Spiritual Good or Evil, e.g., Desire of Learning, Love of Virtue, are not in the strict sense of the word Passions. The Good and Evil that are the Objects of Passion are the Good and Evil of Sense, and commonly as presented by the Imagination. This fact shows that the Passions are fed by the Imagination, and that the Control of the Passions must begin with its control. The Passions in themselves are Non-Moral. Only in so far as they are Subject to the Will do they come under the Moral Law. When regulated by Reason and Subjected to Right Control of the Will, the Passions can be considered Good and used in the Practice and Acquisition of Virtue. Love and Hatred as General Tendencies toward Good and Evil are the Generic Passions. Under them come Desire and Aversion, Joy and Sorrow, Hope and Despair, Courage and Fear, and Anger (Envy/Lust).

New Catholic Dictionary


The Devil knows how to exploit our Bodily Instincts and Passions, the Weakness of our Flesh and our Pride. A Demonic Temptation generally affects the Psychosomatic Powers; viz., the Imagination, Memory, and Sensitive Appetite, which are important for Using and Controlling our Emotions. By Tempting these Powers, Demons disturb the Sensitive Appetite and indirectly affect the Intellect and Will.

Life of the Senses


Life of the Mind

Sensitive Appetite

Rational Appetite

CC-1764 The Passions are Natural Components of the Human Psyche; they form the Passageway and ensure the connection between the Life of the Senses and the Life of the Mind.

Passions = Feelings = Emotions = Movements of the Sensitive Appetite


The Passions

from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

1762 The Human Person is Ordered to Beatitude by his deliberate Acts: the Passions or Feelings he experiences can dispose him to it and contribute to it.


I. Passions

1763 The term "Passions" belongs to the Christian Patrimony. Feelings or Passions are Emotions or Movements of the Sensitive Appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something Felt or Imagined to be Good or Evil.

1764 The Passions are Natural Components of the Human Psyche; they form the Passageway and ensure the Connection between the Life of the Senses and the Life of the Mind. Our Lord called Man's Heart the Source from which the Passions spring.

1765 There are many Passions. The most fundamental Passion is Love, aroused by the Attraction of the Good. Love causes a Desire for the Absent Good and the Hope of obtaining it; this Movement finds completion in the Pleasure and Joy of the Good possessed. The Apprehension of Evil causes Hatred, Aversion, and Fear of the impending Evil; this Movement ends in Sadness at some present Evil, or in the Anger that resists it.

1766 "To Love is to Will the Good of another". All other Affections have their source in this First Movement of the Human Heart toward the Good. Only the Good can be Loved. Passions "are Evil if Love is Evil and Good if it is Good".


II. Passions and Moral Life

1767 In themselves, Passions are neither Good nor Evil. They are Morally Qualified only to the extent that they Effectively-Engage Reason and Will. Passions are said to be Voluntary, "either because they are commanded by the Will or because the Will does not place obstacles in their way". It belongs to the Perfection of the Moral or Human Good that the Passions be Governed by Reason.

1768 Strong Feelings are not Decisive for the Morality or the Holiness of Persons; they are simply the Inexhaustible Reservoir of Images and Affections in which the Moral Life is expressed. Passions are Morally Good when they contribute to a Good Action, Evil in the opposite case. The Upright Will Orders the Movements of the Senses it Appropriates to the Good and to Beatitude; an Evil Will Succumbs to Disordered Passions and Exacerbates them. Emotions and Feelings can be Taken Up into the Virtues or Perverted by the Vices.

1769 In the Christian Life, the Holy Spirit Himself accomplishes His Work by mobilizing the Whole Being, with all its Sorrows, Fears and Sadness, as is visible in the Lord's Agony and Passion. In Christ, Human Feelings are able to reach their Consummation in Charity and Divine Beatitude.

1770 Moral Perfection consists in Man's being moved to the Good not by his Will alone, but also by his Sensitive Appetite, as in the words of the Psalm: "My Heart and Flesh sing for Joy to the living God".


In Brief

1771 The term "Passions" refers to the Affections or the Feelings. By his Emotions Man Intuits the Good and Suspects Evil.

1772 The Principal Passions are Love and Hatred, Desire and Fear, Joy, Sadness, and Anger.

1773 In the Passions, as Movements of the Sensitive Appetite, there is neither Moral Good nor Evil. But insofar as they engage Reason and Will, there is Moral Good or Evil in them.

1774 Emotions and Feelings can be Taken-Up in the Virtues or Perverted by the Vices.

1775 The Perfection of the Moral Good consists in Man's being moved to the Good not only by his Will, but also by his "Heart".