Emotions. We all have them, all experience them, what to do about them? Ignore them? Indulge them? Or is there a balance?
I propose that us humans strive to find balance between our emotions and what we hold to be true and real. All too often, it seems that we (myself included) get so caught up in our emotions and feelings that we lose sight of our ability to reason. And this has led to our culture of Relativism, where reality and truth are determined by what feels good to each individual, while ignoring the law of non-contradiction (meaning ignoring that the differing beliefs contradict each other and ultimately cannot all be true). For example, when it comes to God, Christians proclaim that Jesus Christ is God, while Muslims perceive Jesus as only a prophet and reject that God exists as a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- how can both beliefs be correct? And then atheists/agnostics/secularists reject God altogether. Yet, ultimately, stripping all else away -- Jesus is either God or not; it is impossible for Him to be God for some people and simultaneously not God for others. This cannot be determined by feelings though. Feelings change (quite quickly at times *ahem mood swings*) and if I based reality on my feelings, chaos would ensue.
As humans, we are created with an intellect and will and must strive to order both towards the good. But what is "good"? Hence why God exists outside of ourselves, He transcends humanity, and IS existence itself. As such, He is the measure of what is good; He doesn't change and only wants what is truly in our best interests. As St. Augustine once wrote "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord". It is only in God that we find fulfillment. Notice how often you may be left with a sense of emptiness after a pleasurable experience -- our hearts yearn for the infinite, selfless love of God and we must not let our emotions interfere. We must train our emotions the way athletes train their bodies.
Now, all this is coming from someone who has struggled with emotions for most of my 26 years of life. I remember, as a teenager, being drawn to television shows such as Everwood and The OC which were chock full of emotional experiences for the characters - now I honestly do not enjoy either show anymore -- partially because I'm no longer a teenager and partially because I've learned to overcome my strong emotions. I still get emotional quite often yet I try to recognize my emotions and not give into them - it's tough, I don't always succeed, but I never forget what place emotions have in my life.
So my challenge for YOU, dear reader is to seek truth, but please don't allow your emotions to cloud that search. Catholicism does not always feel good but what keeps me going is acknowledging that I cannot stop truth from being true; I could walk away from Catholicism at any moment, yet I would only be hurting myself, as the old saying goes, it's true "whether I like it or not".
Until next time, may God bless you ❤