My Confirmation patron is St. Dominic. What a wise and holy man. And how much we could use him today. We live in a culture of feelings. If a woman feels like a man, she insists she really is one. If a man feels like a woman, he insists he is one. But feelings will never make a woman fancy on the outside or a man fancy on the inside as Mr. Rogers would put it. Nope! Feelings can’t change biology. They can, however, change a person in an instant from a rational being making sensible decisions, to an out-of-control puppet ruled by his feelings.
Feelings relate to our passions: anger, romance, jealousy, hatred. They can all lead us into troubled waters. The angry man who strikes his neighbor may end up in jail for battery. The jealous woman who constantly accuses her boyfriend of looking at other women may destroy her relationship.
St. Dominic was a man of uncommon good sense and he realized how important it was for the passions to be under the control of the will. It’s obvious that there is a difference between feeling like murdering someone and doing it, but those who give in to the feeling may injure another by murdering his reputation or committing some other evil against him. Jesus says the angry man commits murder in his heart speaking about unrighteousness anger.
And so St. Dominic offers this important piece of wise advice. “A man who governs his passions is master of the world. We must either rule them or be ruled by them.” Anyone who struggles against his passions to take control of them, experiences a fierce battle. Often our greatest adversary is our own nature and our own out-of-control passions. But when we win the victory, what a victory it is!
If you struggle against a particular passion, ask St. Dominic or other saints for help. If you have an anger problem, ask a saint who seems meek and mild. The virtue of saints were often acquired by fighting a constant battle against the opposite vice.
All you angels and saints, help us to submit our will to God’s and so win the victory over our passions. Through Christ our Lord.
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