If we would be happy, let us learn to control our passions.
Thomas à Kempis tells us in his Imitation of Christ that, “Whensoever a man desires anything inordinately he is presently disquieted within himself…And therefore he is often sad when he withdraws himself from them [earthly desires] and is easily moved to anger if any one thwarts him.”
Sure sounds like a lot of us in the world today. We’re a restless and restive bunch, and we’ll surely never be know for our requiescence. Why? Because we have inordinate affections. Our passions are out of control.
What happens when one gives into his passions? “[H]e is immediately tormented with the guilt of his conscience, because he has followed his passion, which helps him not at all toward the peace he sought for.” Surely we’ve all experienced this feeling. Sin is only alluring until we’re caught between its disgusting claws.
Far better and far more peaceful we will be if we learn the practice of self-denial. When we are in control of our passions, we will know what it is to be truly happy. “It is then by resisting our passions that we are to find true peace of heart, and not by being slaves to them. There is no peace, therefore in the heart of a carnal man, nor in a man that is addicted to outward things; but only in a fervent spiritual man.”