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Augustine of Hippo: “Emotions and affections”

2 February 2019

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“Emotions and affections, when they are exercised in a becoming way, follow the guidance of right reason; who will dare to say that they are diseases or vicious passions? Even the Lord Himself, when He condescended to lead a human life in the form of a slave, had no sin whatever, and yet exercised these emotions where He judged they should be exercised. For as there was in Him a true human body and a true human soul, so also was there true human emotion. When, therefore, we read in the Gospel that the hard-heartedness of the Jews moved Him to sorrowful indignation (cf. Mk. 3:5), that when about to raise Lazarus He even shed tears (cf. Jn. 11:35), that He earnestly desired to eat the Passover with His disciples (cf. Lk. 22:15), that as His passion drew near His soul was sorrowful (cf. Mt. 26:38), these emotions are certainly not falsely ascribed to Him. But as He became man when it pleased Him, so, in the grace of His definite purpose, when it pleased Him He experienced those emotions in His human soul.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo

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