Building Catholic Character in Students: Rely on your Will, not your Feelings

catholic book character

The Catholic Book of Character and Success: Chapter Notes

Chapter Thirty: Rely on your Will, not your Feelings.

  • It is important to distinguish in your mind between feelings and will.
  • Some people are enslaved by their feelings and are carried away by them.
  • The will within us is truly free and can be brought to act in determining between good and evil, or any course of action.
  • It is only our free actions that we can be praised or blamed: spontaneous acts that are beyond our control should neither attract merit or blame.
  • Man should not reproach himself for acts that he committed whilst being unaware of any attached evils at the time.
  • Only that which is truly willed can we derive reward or blame.
  • Feelings are inner emotions that come and go often without control, like capricious mood swings of joy or sadness.
  • These impulses, like the imagination, are from the body and any responsibility that comes from them only does so when the person yields to them.
  • Success in life depends much on a person’s ability to discipline his feelings.
  • Disciplined feelings lend strength to a man in his moral vitality, whilst feelings that are left out of control do great damage to him and those around him.
  • The young often confuse emotion with will, and temptation with consent.
  • They wrongly think that strong natural feelings are evil, not realising that in fighting them, they gain great merit.
  • The only evil in temptation is the yielding to it, either in mind or act.
  • Knowing how to resist base feelings is a great virtue that can be learned by youth and adult alike.
  • Yielding to the natural brings man to the state of the animal, though worse, as brutes do not have moral culpability whilst man has, through his free will.
  • Recognising that the animal instinct is within man, helps us to recognise it and control it.
  • Reflection upon these things throughout our past lives will highlight those times where our feelings have played a worthy or evil part.
  • Think how far have our feelings taken control, and what must we do to master them to be servants in our quest for success and happiness in life. button Protection Status

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