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there are FOUR TEMPERAMENTS:
I believe that to the person born with a "sour" and serious disposition in life, greater merits are to be gained in choosing to go counter to one's nature (to be cheerful when one is really naturally surly), than say, one born with an already sweet and cheerful countenance to begin with.
Well, yes we should love all human beings, especially since we would want others to see Christ in us, as we see Christ in them too, but it's not without a great deal of effort that we could love those who are really "difficult" or counter to our very personalities... the types who get us all riled up or make us "bad trip" (feel bad) without them having to do much!!!
|My favorite Saint, Therese|
|Therese was named after my favorite saint.|
She who did "ordinary things with extraordinary love" and who used her "little way of confidence and love" to please God, was very human too, like you and I.
Let me share her anecdotes with you. They always make me smile. :)
I was the only one to notice it because I had extremely sensitive hearing (too much so at times).
Mother, it would be impossible for me to tell you how much this little noise wearied me. I had a great desire to turn my head and stare at the culprit who was very certainly unaware of her "click." This would be the only way of enlightening her. However, in the bottom of my heart I felt it was much better to suffer this out of love for God and not to cause the Sister any pain. I remained calm, therefore, and tried to unite myself to God and to forget the little noise.
Everything was useless.
I felt the perspiration inundate me, and I was obliged simply to make a prayer of doing it without annoyance and with peace and joy, at least in the interior of my soul.
I tried to love the little noise which was so displeasing; instead of trying not to hear it (impossible), I paid close attention so as to hear it well, as though it were a delightful concert, and my prayer (which was not the Prayer of Quiet) was spent in offering this concert to Jesus.
When I speak of imperfect souls, I don't want to speak of spiritual imperfections, since the most holy souls will be perfect only in heaven; but I want to speak of a lack of judgment, good manners, touchiness in certain characters; all things which don't make life very agreeable. I know very well that these moral infirmities are chronic, that there is no hope of a cure, but I also know that my Mother would not cease to take care of me, to try to console me, if I remained sick all my life.
This is the conclusion I draw from this: I must seek out in recreation on free days, the company of the Sisters who are the least agreeable to me in order to carry out with regard to these wounded souls the office of the good Samaritan: A word, an amiable smile, often suffice to make a sad soul bloom but it is not principally to attain this end that I wish to practice charity, for I know I would soon become discouraged: a word I shall say with the best intention will perhaps be interpreted wrongly. Also, not to waste my time, I want to be friendly with everybody, and especially with the least amiable Sisters to give joy to Jesus and respond to the counsel He gives in the Gospel in almost these words:
"When you give a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends, or your brethren or your relatives, or your rich neighbors, lest perhaps they also invite you in return, and a recompense be made to you. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; and blessed shall you be, because they have nothing to repay you with. (Lk 14: 12-14) and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Mt 6:4)
Each time I met her , I prayed to God for her, offering Him all her virtues and merits...I was not content simply praying very much for this Sister who gave me so many struggles, but I took tender care to render her all the services possible, and when I was tempted to answer her back in a disagreeable manner, I was content with giving her my most friendly smiles, and with changing the subject of conversation.
I used to run away like a deserter whenever my struggles became too violent. As she was absolutely unaware of my feelings for her, never did she suspect the motives for my conduct and she remained convinced that her character was very pleasing to me.
One day at recreation, she asked almost these words: "Would you tell me, Sister Therese of the Child Jesus, what attracts you so much towards me, every time you look at me, I see you smile?"
Ah! what attracted me was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul; Jesus who makes sweet what is most bitter. I answered that I was smiling because I was happy to see her (it is understood that I did not add that this was from a spiritual standpoint)...
the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas.
36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.
Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Some years later, Paul who is imprisoned, will be helped by Mark (Philemon 24) and much later, imprisoned again, Paul will ask Mark to come and help him. (2 Tim 4:11)
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Applying it to my own marriage...
I am, as I have mentioned above, a weird mix of sanguine and melancholic.
Dong for his part, I think, is a mix of phlegmatic and melancholic.
None of us is choleric though. We are not quick-tempered nor do we get easily annoyed
(except when I am hormonal or he is hungry, then all hell breaks loose. Hehe ;)).
So, even if the Lord had already transformed me, (I can only speak for myself. God is still at work in my husband's heart.) I am still that weird mix of sanguine and melancholic. Yes, I am bubbly and spritely and mostly cheerful, but I still am prone to long bouts of introspection, which in the past before my conviction, almost always led to depression.
But since the Lord has already given me a new nature, I use my introspective nature NOT to:
- think about how others viewed me
- think about whether or not I looked fat in my outfit
- think about if what I said impressed my friend
- think about whether or not I was "friendly" enough in the social gathering
- think about my many imperfections and flaws
... which almost always led before to depression and emotional withdrawal from my husband. He was always the "fall guy" of my bad moods, from too much "thinking". :(
|I am the second and the fourth.|
I now use my introspective nature to :
- think about whether what I uttered was pleasing to God
- think about what hidden sins and idols I was cherishing in my heart that made me react strongly
- think about whether my choice of clothes was modest enough to reflect my newfound faith
- think about whether or not I was able to show Christ to this particular person who looked so sad
- think about how much grace and mercy the Lord has given to a great sinner such as myself
... which translates to a peaceful and joyful relationship with my husband, who looks to me to set our home's "thermostat". When I am joyous and smiling, he feels really great (and fulfilled) too!
The Lord had transformed me, YES!
But, I am still sanguine-melancholy.
And I guess, I always will be.
The difference lies in that whereas before, I used my melancholic temperament as 'license" to go into pity parties and depression... Now, I use my melancholic nature to go into the deepest recesses of my heart and mind, in order to uproot any sin, and hold captive every thought for Christ! Any lies that I find while in deep introspection, I throw out. I read my Bible to find out the Truth!
Since my conversion too, my sanguine personality has been very apparent, and I find myself very chirpy the moment I wake up, till just before I go to bed, on most days!!! Whereas before, because of my sanguine temperament, I allowed my feelings to dictate to me how I would react towards upsetting events... Since my conversion, I have been bossing around my emotions, not anymore giving in to my emotional outbursts! Better PMS days, that's for sure! Who would have thought that to be possible?! Dong is amazed! It's a miracle!!! Haha! :)
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ".
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The temperaments we were born with, will still be what the Lord will work on and work with.
He who "makes all things work together for good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His Purpose" (Romans 8:28) , will use our individual strengths and weaknesses to conform us to Jesus.
As children of God we are called too, to bear with one another's faults and failures. (Col 3:13) Nobody is perfect, although the Father in Heaven wants us to do our best to be "perfect" (Matt 5:48) but not in the worldly sense of the word.
(Note: Perfect means to "mirror God ". We are to mirror him in his moral excellence as well as in other ways. In fact, the basic call to a person in this world is to be a reflection of the character of God. ).
Every temperament has its "good" side and "bad" side.
It is just a matter of allowing the "good" to surface, as the "bad" subsides.
So if you are choleric (masungit), you would have to bite your tongue more often, in fits of temper, to avoid hurting others.
If you are phlegmatic (masyadong cool), you would have to be more proactive and dynamic in serving others and God, rather than being too relaxed to the point of apathy.
‘" I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
If you are sanguine (masayahin), you would have to balance having "too many fellowships" and "worldly friendships", with being still and having more quiet moments alone with the Lord.
1 John 2: 15-17
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
If you are melancholic (palaisip), you would have to be less perfectionistic (in the worldly sense of the word), less hard on yourself and more tolerant of others.
Romans 14: 10-13
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?
Or why do you treat them with contempt?
For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’?
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
dear sister in Christ?
Is it choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine or melancholic?
|Our youngest boy, Reuben Theo -- sanguine as can be!|
Whatever it is, the Lord created YOU; He formed YOU; He knew YOU even before YOU were born; and He will use YOU and your God-given temperament for His Kingdom, for His Own Purposes.
All that He asks is that we always trust in Him and humble ourselves before Him.
If we do that, in spite of our human weaknesses, we will still be able to give Him Glory!
Let us never lose sight of the Reason we are on earth in the first place --
that is to LOVE Him,
to SEEK Him, and
to SERVE Him.