Healing vs. Controlling Our Emotions

Do you ever struggle to control your emotions? Sometimes, our emotions can be overwhelming and difficult to orient towards what is good. Dr. Sri shares in this episode how Christ wants to heal our emotions and help us orient them towards what is good.

Snippet from the Show
The virtuous person does not just do the right thing, but also desires the right thing.


You can find out more about Dr. Sri’s book The Art of Living HERE.

The Power of Emotions

Emotions are human. We all experience them. What is interesting is that emotions can be good and bad. Some emotions that are not necessarily helpful to us are anger, jealousy, comparison, fear of failure, anxiety, and lust. These types of emotions, if we allow them, can lead us to sin and potentially more harmful emotions. The good news is that Christ wants to heal us in our emotions. He does not simply want to help us control them. He wants to help us heal.

What Is Virtue?

Dr. Sri shares multiple stories and examples to help us understand what virtue truly is. Essentially, virtue is not just about doing the right thing or acting rightly one time. Virtue is an inner strength/ability which we can draw on at any time.

Continence vs. Temperance

Some people may think that these two things are the same. However, they are not. Continence is more about controlling actions. With continence, you may not yell at someone but you are still fuming inside. On the other hand, with temperance, you don’t even get upset in the first place. This does not mean you don’t recognize wrongs that need to be corrected or injustices that need to be righted. However, you are able to right those wrongs in word or deed without losing control of your emotions.

Desiring Rightly

A virtuous person does not just do the right thing. The virtuous person desires the right thing. A virtuous person is not just exteriorly obedient. They desire and do the right thing out of love for God. Sometimes, we can feel like St. Paul who in Romans 7:15 writes, “For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.” We desire what is good, but we struggle to actually do it. God does not want us to constantly be battling our emotions. He wants to heal our emotions. When we can make our love for God and neighbor central, our emotions will also lead us to what is good. We will desire what is good.

Do you have questions about the Catholic Faith?

Send in your questions to info.edwardsri@gmail.com


  • Visit Dr. Sri’s website at www.edwardsri.com and to book online events with Dr. Sri email events.edwardsri@gmail.com
  • Find more of Dr. Sri’s episodes at www.ascensionpress.com/allthingscatholic 
  • Ascension is pleased to offer our new and improved online bible study programs and sacramental preparation programs digitally to help you minister with flexibility. Go to www.ascensionpress.com to view all our offerings

Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

1 Comment

  1. I have been researching a Catholic approach to emotions and came across this page.

    I am concerned that some things mentioned in these show notes don’t fully articulate what our Church teaches on emotions.

    In the catechism, CCC 1773 states “In the passions, as movements of the sensitive appetite, there is neither moral good nor evil. But insofar as they engage reason and will, there is moral good or evil in them.” Additionally, CCC 1767 states “In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. Passions are said to be voluntary, ‘either because they are commanded by the will or because the will does not place obstacles in their way.’ It belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be governed by reason.”

    The show notes on this page say that emotions are good and bad but our catechism gives an important qualifier. It is what we do with them after engaging our reason and will that makes them morally good or evil. There is a difference between a feeling of anger and indulging in anger in a way that leads to evil thoughts and the desire to harm another. Anger is listed as a “bad” emotion in the show notes, but even Jesus himself felt anger. So I think there is a distinction.

    Also, I would argue that certain things listed as emotions in the show notes are not emotions as the Church defines them. CCC 1772 states “The principal passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger.” Additionally, CCC 1774 states “Emotions and feelings can be taken up in the virtues or perverted by the vices”. For example, lust and jealousy are listed in the show notes as emotions but I would argue that they are vices. The emotion is desire and when that emotion is perverted by the vices it can become lust or jealousy if we don’t choose to use it virtuously with our reason and will.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast episode itself so maybe this all is clarified in the audio but I would suggest some edits to the show notes to avoid confusion for those just coming across the page.

    I love what you all do at Ascension Press so this isn’t meant as an attack. Just as a suggestion to avoid confusion for readers. 🙂


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