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TPL (Text) -- 5

On the Passions

34 Of those things we have impassioned memories, of those same things we first accepted the objects with passion. And as many objects, again, as we accept with passion, of those objects we will have impassioned memories. Whence, he who has conquered the demons who are acting despises what is done by them. For the immaterial war is more bitter than the war realized in material objects.

35 The passions of the soul have their occasions or starting-points from men; the passions of the body, from the body. And continence cuts off the passions of the body, while spiritual charity cuts off those of the soul.

36 Those [demons] which rule over the passions of the soul persist until death; those which rule over the passions of the body retire more quickly. And, on the one hand, the other demons are like the sun which rises and sets, laying hold on some one part of the soul; the noonday [demon], on the other hand, has the custom to envelop the whole soul and to suffocate the mind. Therefore, the anchoretic life is sweet after the emptying of the passions; for then the only memories are mere memories, and the wrestling no longer prepares the monk for battle, but for contemplation itself.

37 One must attend whether the conception sets the passions in motion; or the passions, the conception. For, on the one hand, some have the first opinion; on the other hand, some have the second opinion.

38 It is the nature of the passions to be set in motion by the senses. And, if charity and continence are present, the passions will not be set in motion; if these are absent, the passions will be set in motion. More than the desiring part, the temper requires medicines, and, on account of this, charity is called ‘great’ [cf. 1 Cor. 13, 13], for it is the rein of the temper. This very thing that saint, Moses, in his Physics symbolically named ‘the battler with the serpent’ [Lev. 11, 22].

39 The soul has the custom to be ignited towards thoughts in consequence of the bad odour which prevails among the demons, when, the demons approaching, the soul is seized, having been conformed by the passion which corresponds to the demon which is disturbing it.

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