Four Hundred Texts on Love (Second Century) 17

47. Certain things stop the movement of the passions and do not allow them to grow; others subdue them and make them diminish. For instance, where desire is concerned, fasting, labor and vigils do not allow it to grow, while withdrawal, contemplation, prayer and intense longing for God subdue it and make it disappear. The same is true with regard to anger. Forbearance, freedom from rancor, gentleness, for example, all arrest it and prevent it from growing, while love, acts of charity, kindness and compassion make it diminish.

This text exposes an important truth about gaining freedom from a passion that rules us. It’s a process and it takes effort. We may need to stop the movement and growth of a passion first before we can begin to subdue it. Other times, we may be able to begin immediately subduing a passion. In either case we need to turn our will as best we can toward the acts that will free us, practice them, and pray for mercy. Our Lord loves us and where we are weak, he is strong.

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