Human Will


#1

Hi, thanks for considering my question.

My question is, let’s say that you want to perform a certain sin, say stealing, or masturbation, or the like, but you don’t It has gone past the urge, the initial idea to the place that you desire it, but are able to talk yourself out of it and keep yourself from it out of devotion to God.

What is the breakdown of the parts? You willed it but ____ kept you from it? Or the power of sin gave you the urge, ______ made you want it, but you didn’t will it, therefore didn’t do it? I need help with the compartmentalization of these faculties, and their terms.

Thanks so much!

Pax vobiscum.


#2

The quick answer to your question is that the will resides in the soul. It originates and is developed by experience. It is above the passions and, through reason, selects among conflicting tendencies. Yes, it is the will that keeps you from sinning…or not. The will is the faculty by which we make choices, and so unless we choose to say, “This is a good urge. I endorse it.” or “I am going to act on this desire,” then there is no sin because the will is not engaged and a choice has not been made.

Theologians and philosophers have spilled much ink over the subject of will and passions, and the relationship between them. If you’d like to see the development of these ideas, I refer you to the articles at the Catholic Encyclopedia:[LIST]
*]Will
*]Passions[/LIST]


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