Love is an act of the will

Our emotions and feelings can be very strong. As women it's probably safe to say that we all know the experience of being either swayed or pulled by our emotions and feelings in a situation. They can be a powerful force! So much so that we feel they are wrong, or need to be fully repressed. But we need to remember that God gave them to us for a reason. We need our emotions and feelings!

During my class in Moral Theology my professor explained this very beautiful relationship exists between our emotions, our intellect (reason) and our will when it comes to a particular action. Our emotions serve to bring something to our attention. It's like this flashing light sign that says, "I need you to pay attention to this right now!" Then our intellect comes in to properly assess and reason what decision should be made that is ordered towards the good. Finally, it is brought to our will to then initiate that decision into an action.

I sometimes picture it like a scene from the movie "Inside Out" where you have three little people discussing what to do. Many times I find it's a very easy analogy to understand how these three aspects works together.

Now once upon a time, all three of these elements were in perfect harmony and all aligned according to the Divine Law. Which meant that we could have full confidence in simply following our feelings, for example, because they were in perfect alignment with our intellect and will to act in a way that was in accordance with God's Divine Law.

Unfortunately, when the moment of original sin happened these three elements became weakened and lost that harmony. Our feelings became disoriented and distorted, our intellect darkened, and our will weakened. Does this mean that they have now become a bad or wrong part of us? Of course not! They are still from God and given to us for a purpose. But what this means is that we need to strive to bring back that unity between the three and order them towards God's Divine Law once again.

All three need to work together, and all three need to be directed towards God. Many times this can mean that our feelings wants to do one thing, but our intellect brings to light that we should take a different action instead, sometimes against what we feel we want to do.

When I wake up in the morning there are days when I really don't feel like going to work. My feelings bring that to my intellect, but my intellect knows that the good thing to do in that moment is to get up and still go to work. Just because I may not feel like doing my work that day, that does not make my work any less valid.

Remember, love is an act of the will to do what is good for the other. Just because we may not always feel like it, that doesn't mean that our act of love is less valid. Sometimes it is those acts of love that become the strongest.

Walking Together,

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