One disadvantage of passion is that it takes a lot out of a person. Passion will make it necessary to cry, lose sleep, engage in conversations you’d rather avoid, and take risks that might keep life in an uproar.
Passion does not allow a person to sit like a lump and watch events work themselves out. A passionate person cares too much to stay silent when harm is being done or to stand still when help is needed.
In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the exercise of the Two Standards helps the person at prayer determine whether she is going to follow the standard (in military terms, the flag) of Christ or the standard of Lucifer, enemy of our souls. This can seem like an intellectual exercise, as we weigh the options and decide, with our minds, which life would be the better one.
But this decision involves far more than a mental choice. When we follow Christ, we are giving God permission to move us, to build that fire of passion in our souls, thus making it impossible for us ever again to be nonchalant, uncaring, or apathetic. In choosing Christ’s standard, we opt to be fully human, which means that every aspect of our personality will be engaged in forward movement, in healing work—in God’s kingdom.
So, what has passion looked like in your life? I’d love to hear some stories.