Chapter XXI.—The Uses of Lust, Anger, Grief.
And Simon said: 1463 “You were right in saying this; but in the present world does not man seem to you to be capable of every kind of affection,—as, for instance, of lust, anger, grief, and the like?” And Peter said: “Yes, these belong to the things that are accidental, not to those that always exist, and it will be found that they now occur with advantage to the soul. For lust has, by the will of Him who created all things well, been made to arise within the living being, that, led by it to intercourse, he may increase humanity, from a selection of which a multitude of superior beings arise who are fit for eternal life. But if it were not for lust, no one would trouble himself with intercourse with his wife; but now, for the sake of pleasure, and, as it were, gratifying himself, man carries out His will. Now, if a man uses lust for lawful marriage, he does not act impiously; but if he rushes to adultery, he acts impiously, and he is punished because he makes a bad use of a good ordinance. And in the same way, anger has been made by God to be lighted up naturally within us, in order that we may be induced by it to ward off injuries. Yet if any one indulges it without restraint, he acts unjustly; but if he uses it within due bounds, he does what is right. Moreover, we are capable of grief, that we may be moved with sympathy at the death of relatives, of a wife, or children, or brothers, or parents, or friends, or some others, since, if we were not capable of sympathy, we should be inhuman. In like manner, all the other affections will be found to be adapted for us, if at least the reason for their existence 1464 be considered.”
[With chaps. 21, 22, compare Homily XX. 4.—R.]337:1464
We have adopted an emendation of Lagardes.