Some Protestants would probably not equate passion with Catholicism. Passion is atmosphere, rowdy worship, thrusting hands to heaven, shouts & tears & laughter welling up within. Passion is volume & how excited the pastor is about some new ministry or some great book, program or product. The depth & effectiveness of his passion is reflected by how many people get on board & carry the zeal home with them. Passion always rides on emotion & if it doesn't sweep you off your feet, you don't have it. This is how I've always understood it, having been raised in a Pentecostal/Charismatic denomination. I left my roots in search of something more. Not more “passion”, but substance. Passion to me has been nothing more than a catch phrase: “What are you passionate about? Pursue it!”
I don't know that I've ever truly been passionate about Jesus or loving others. I don't know that I've ever been truly passionate about the gift of salvation & the hope of heaven. Still, I've attempted to pursue passion for these things, because that's what a good Christian is supposed to do. I had no clue what I was doing or why. I knew repentance was a part of it, but no one around me seemed to care about that. We were saved once & for all & there was no need to worry. I knew humility was a part of it, but most around me were more concerned with being “bold as a lion!”. They of course encouraged me to try & follow in their paw prints. I read the Bible & prayed. I noted many things that we didn't do as a body of believers, & there were things we did do that weren't in the Bible. I was told my lack of faith & my doubt were a stench in God's nostrils... that I needed to humble myself & repent.
(Here's where I throw in a "selah".)
I've found that faith is actually a gift of God (not something I can muster up on my own) & doubt is the proving ground. Just look at the book of Job or Psalms... How these men struggled! Yet they hung on & God honoured them. Passion, I believe, is not cultivated in atmosphere, emotion or charisma. It's not cultivated by books or programs or products. Passion grows from the seed of faith. Its planted by God in the soil of humble doubt. But that seed must die in order to take root & grow. "...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24 NASB
Lack of faith & doubt it seems, can be precursors to passion. As I begin my journey toward Catholicism, I have never felt more excitement about my faith, about what God has done for me in His Son. Still, there is a fearing, a doubting. There is no visible shoot, but my roots are forming. The darkness & mystery of a rich, loamy soil holds me fast... and so I wait.