Jump to content

Religious Life & Temperaments


Recommended Posts

[quote name='Indwelling Trinity' date='06 April 2010 - 04:53 PM' timestamp='1270529618' post='2087503']
Smiling... I never said in my post that it should be used in assessing true vocations , I only stated that it can be a help for the individual and community in mutual understanding of the dynamics of community life as well as helping one to acertain what feels closest to their own aspirations. Razzzzberryy back at ya! :P
[/quote]


I never said that you said that. I was just stating my objections. As for the razzberry(sp?) I am useless with these emoticons. I choose a smiley face and it always turns out to be something bad. I used to use the rolling eyes because I like the smile and I was told that this is an indicator of sarcasm. Now I chose a wagging tongue because I thought it was cute, and I find out it is a razzberry (not spelled like the fruit is it?) I think I need to stick to the standard smiley and leave it at that.

I still don't like it and probably never will, but lots of people and places do, so I am in the minority. I hate anything that smacks of stereotyping though so that's just me. Jesus didn't like stereotyping either from what I read in the Gospels. He used to hang around with those who were stereotyped as 'sinners'. I know all of these psychological assessments are used as tools, but I just don't happen to like them as tools, and that is purely personal to me. It's a good thing that none of the Carmels I had applied to have ever asked for one of these! I had to do enough of them when I was nursing and teaching and in the corporate world. I would hate to think that my vocation depended on one too! Normal smiley :)

And because I have to wait 30 seconds before posting again, I will address Innocent's post as well, with the links. I will go back and check these out - thank you very much for that.

Edited by nunsense
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 64
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • AccountDeleted

    10

  • vee

    8

  • Indwelling Trinity

    7

  • IgnatiusofLoyola

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I don't have a lot of time to respond, but nunsense, I think you're getting the wrong idea that people are trying to push you to like temperaments, and I don't think anyone is. Personally I don't care

[quote name='Innocent' date='06 April 2010 - 06:16 PM' timestamp='1270534597' post='2087546'] The temperaments were discussed here on the Phorum lately. Here are the links to the threads: [url="ht

I was reading the posts where people mentioned they are an INFP, INFJ, ASPCA, or CSI: Miami and I realized the most important personality/ temperament acronym. The one we all should be working for,

[quote name='Innocent' date='06 April 2010 - 06:16 PM' timestamp='1270534597' post='2087546']
The temperaments were discussed here on the Phorum lately. Here are the links to the threads:

[url="http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=103463&st=0"]The Four Temperaments.[/url]

[url="http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=103646"]Resources on Temperaments.[/url]

[url="http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=103644"]Ebook: The Four Temperaments[/url]

My personal experience with learning about the Temperaments is that it has helped me very greatly in recognising what sins I'm prone to and thus to be wary of proximate occasions to those, and it has also helped me to get along well with others.

I think that the Catholic resources on temperament address nunsense's concerns in that, as far as I can tell, they don't project any one temperament or temperament combination as the best, or the worst, but rather insist that saintliness is possible whatever the temperament, and point out the weakness and strengths of each temperament and temperament combination, in such a way that it is helpful for us to manage our spiritual lives.
[/quote]


I don't know if you checked my response in that first thread? I said that I was none of the four types, I was 100% Catholic. My answer stands. I won't type myself using these standards. They are made up. My opinion. And I have studied psychology my whole life and worked in locked mental wards and prison psychiatric wards. I still don't believe in this kind of stereotyping. Sorry.... :ohno:

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='nunsense' date='06 April 2010 - 01:44 PM' timestamp='1270538059' post='2087559']
I don't know if you checked my response in that first thread? I said that I was none of the four types, I was 100% Catholic. My answer stands. I won't type myself using these standards. They are made up. My opinion. And I have studied psychology my whole life and worked in locked mental wards and prison psychiatric wards. I still don't believe in this kind of stereotyping. Sorry.... :ohno:
[/quote]
I did read your response in that thread.

Thinking in terms of temperament didn't strike me as stereotyping because I thought it would be evident that in-spite of these major categories each person would be unique in how the temperament or temperament combination was expressed in his or her life, and also, one's character can be changed by various influences, including one's choices and religious formation. So I suppose I never thought of it as stereotpying, just something interesting to know about a person. (Just as, for example, we would say of someone we know,"He has good eye for detail." That's not sterotyping him; it's just pointing out something about him.) Anyway, in the final analysis, everyone has free will, and so temperaments can tell exactly how anyone will act in any situation.


Actually, I wasn't thinking about a situation where these are used in the process of admission into a Religious Order. I was merely thinking about private use to improve self-knowledge. Don't you think the concept of temperament has some use that way?

St. Teresa Of Avila wrote down [url="http://books.google.com/books?id=fAXEv_JfWIgC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=%22teresa+of+avila%22+melancholic+temperament&source=bl&ots=uIMOdBWF74&sig=h4YqcpaprLfzFOX0vFYbx0MhSvU&hl=en&ei=9Ay7S5OZPMmfrAeYsaGTBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=&f=false"]some advice on how to deal with those of melancholic temperament[/url] in her Book Of The Foundations. So I suppose she did think that understanding temperament was of some use, at least in the religious life.

Also, [url="http://www.domcentral.org/study/aumann/default.htm"]Fr. Jordan Aumann[/url] and [url="http://www.archive.org/details/MN41530ucmf_5"]Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey[/url] discuss the role of temperament in their books. So I suppose knowing about our temperament must have at least some use in one's private spiritual struggles.

Edited by Innocent
Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Innocent' date='06 April 2010 - 10:38 PM' timestamp='1270550296' post='2087596']
I did read your response in that thread.

Thinking in terms of temperament didn't strike me as stereotyping because I thought it would be evident that in-spite of these major categories each person would be unique in how the temperament or temperament combination was expressed in his or her life, and also, one's character can be changed by various influences, including one's choices and religious formation. So I suppose I never thought of it as stereotpying, just something interesting to know about a person. (Just as, for example, we would say of someone we know,"He has good eye for detail." That's not sterotyping him; it's just pointing out something about him.)


Actually, I wasn't thinking about a situation where these are used in the process of admission into a Religious Order. I was merely thinking about private use to improve self-knowledge. Don't you think the concept of temperament has some use that way?

St. Teresa Of Avila wrote down [url="http://books.google.com/books?id=fAXEv_JfWIgC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=%22teresa+of+avila%22+melancholic+temperament&source=bl&ots=uIMOdBWF74&sig=h4YqcpaprLfzFOX0vFYbx0MhSvU&hl=en&ei=9Ay7S5OZPMmfrAeYsaGTBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=&f=false"]some advice on how to deal with those of melancholic temperament[/url] in her Book Of The Foundations. So I suppose she did think that understanding temperament was of some use, at least in the religious life.
[/quote]


Well, let me think about how to reply to this. We are dealing with a lot of different things here and perhaps I have come across as a bit simplistic. Some days I am just like that - perhaps that is a personality characteristic? :)

St Teresa wasn't talking about any personality profiling in her book, and in fact the use of the word melancholy in her day is much different than in ours. One of the reasons that I am loathe to start using psychoanalytic terms to describe people is that is becomes almost an obsession in some ways to define each person according to some preset definition. I am not saying that there aren't similarities in character that can be identified and even labelled, but that once a label is applied, it is very difficult to remove or to change even for the person themself. Just think of anyone who has been diagnosed with something like 'depression' and then has to fight against the label of being a 'depressive' when in fact it may have been simply a reactive response to a particular experience. Look at this except from a book about St Teresa herself...

[quote]
(chapter) 7
Epilogue
Psychoanalytic Interpretations of Teresa's Mystical Experience

Was Teresa melancholic, as Kristeva suggests? She would not have described herself as such even though the word melancholy was in her vocabulary. Developing the premise of the humoral theory of the origin of melancholy, she considers it a physical ailment, which she thought often attributable to excesses of asceticism. At the same time she diagnoses intellectual symptoms deriving from demonic influence, including manifestations often mistaken for legitimate spiritual experience, especially interior voices and hallucinations, as well as a range of emotional symptoms, such as willfulness and selfishness. Like Kristeva, Teresa found women more often ravaged by it than men. While this analysis coincided with the misogynistic doctrine of the Church, she more often used it to cure than to condemn. She advises prioresses at some length about the diagnosis and treatment of melancholy in the Foundations , urging them to alleviate the symptoms whenever possible, to prescribe remedies of red meat and reduced periods of mandatory prayer, but above all, to require obedience. At the same time, perhaps by intuitive recognition that the illness exceeds the physical, she seems to despair of curing most melancholics, particularly those with what she calls a weak imagination, which would retard or preclude disciplined spiritual experience.

For her own suffering, Teresa uses words with connotations of spiritual sensitivity rather than physical disability: affliction or anxiety, grief, sorrow, oppression, anguish, and interior trials.

....
Kristeva's analysis of Christianity provides one explanation of what Teresa calls her transformation. Kristeva finds the symbols of Christianity perfectly suited to the relief of melancholy. The Virgin Mary represents an ideal mother in that she willingly gives up her Son for something she loves beyond him.

St. Teresa of Avila
Author of a Heroic Life
Carole Slade
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS
Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford
© 1995 The Regents of the University of California
[/quote]

There is much written on terms such as melancholy or sanguinity or any of the other terms used by the psychologists, including the extrovert/introvert and other labels used by MB. I am not against the use of any of these, but only against the application of them in specific instances when used indiscriminately or in inappropriate ways. You suggest that they could be used to help one know themself better, and I can see a limited use in this, provided the person doesn't then start to define themself by those terms. "Oh, I don't do that, I am a melancholic personality type!" Already we do this to ourselves with more generic terms but I think that psychological terms, and esepcially ones that use 'official questionnaires' tend to make people feel that they are more valid, when really, all they are is an hypothesis. In any other science, they would need to be proved, but since we are dealing with the soft science of psychology here, the hypothesis itself becomes the axiom.


Adn I especially do not see the value of these kinds of tests when used with spirituality. I can see that on a human, psychological level, they can provide a limited use, but if St Teresa had been put on the psychoanalyst's couch, she would most likely have been locked up in a psych hospital, as would St John of the Cross. There is a type of grief associated with deep spirituality that is not of psychological origin, but of spiritual, and this could be misunderstood by those who are dealing only with the natural and not the supernatural. To label one a 'melancholic' for a spiritual experience seems wrong to me. It would be like calling St John a 'depressive' when he was far from it.

I know you didn't recommend this, but to use these tools to ascertain a vocation strikes me as very inappropriate, but then the fact is that they are being used, so I am a voice crying in the wilderness here. As a former manager myself, whenever I wanted to evaluate someone for a position, I used things like professional references (not written ones, but really asking the tough questions from the people listed as references), verifiable prior work performance and personal interview. I guess I just trust these more than questionnaires.So I really like the idea of the Prioress contacting priests and SDs and other people who know the applicant, as well as meeting with her in person. Perhaps the questionanire may have some value, but if it were my decision, I wouldn't put much weight on it.


But, if these things do help someone to know themself better, then that must be a good thing for them. I concede that. And as these questionnaires point out, we aren't all the same, so maybe there is a category on them for people who don't find questionnaires of this type helpful? As my brother tells me, "There are two types of people in the world: those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't." :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Indwelling Trinity' date='06 April 2010 - 01:54 PM' timestamp='1270526062' post='2087456']
Laughing.. that's me and it is the other side of my veil when i was a novice! But now that you mentions it... I wonder what brand i was smoking?:P
[/quote]

Well Sister Smoke Ring I suspect it might have been one of the following three brands. :smokey: :topsy:


[img]http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4290/soijnf.jpg[/img]

[img]http://pingmag.jp/images/article/tabaccoB13.jpg[/img]

Link to post
Share on other sites
Indwelling Trinity

[quote name='vee8' date='06 April 2010 - 08:42 AM' timestamp='1270554129' post='2087604']
Well Sister Smoke Ring I suspect it might have been one of the following three brands. :smokey: :topsy:


[img]http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4290/soijnf.jpg[/img]

[img]http://pingmag.jp/images/article/tabaccoB13.jpg[/img]
[/quote]

Laughing hard here...after my being in and out of the hospital since Wednesday of Holy week, I needed a good laugh! Hope and peace sounds like they are laced with something :shock: Carmels LOL if i remember had coupons on the back for free gifts.... so given my vow of poverty it must have been the Carmels! :rolling:

Thanks for the Laugh! :smokey:

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='nunsense' date='06 April 2010 - 07:21 AM' timestamp='1270552904' post='2087600']
You suggest that they could be used to help one know themself better, and I can see a limited use in this, provided the person doesn't then start to define themself by those terms. "Oh, I don't do that, I am a melancholic personality type!"
[/quote]

I don't have time to write too much or read each person's posts in-depth (have to go hear our baby's heartbeat soon!) but this is a subject that piqued my interest because of my experience with it.

I definitely agree with the quoted statement. In my previous religious community, it got to the point where certain Sisters would ONLY define themselves by their personality types, and push their "knowledge" of personality types on the other Sisters, so it got to be a serious point of contention. The books--the one from Sophia Institute Press that I think was already mentioned, and a booklet written by a priest--were then removed from the library, and the Sisters were reprimanded and asked not to discuss that subject with the other Sisters -- that if they wanted to use it as a tool to grow in virtue, fine, but not to discuss it outside that context with other people.

I'm a melancholic/choleric (although people tell me I must have a lot of sanguine, each time I take the test I always come up melancholic/choleric!) and I've found it very helpful in understanding certain roots to many of my faults, and why I think the way I do about some things, and my relation to other people of different temperaments, etc.

I don't think it should be used to base an entire spirituality upon, or even to be taken too seriously. I think it's good for a person to help understand themselves, but I think we need to realize that each person is different, even amongst the melancholics, or phlegmatics, etc. Someone's personality type isn't going to tell them everything about themselves. Sure, it gives you certain specific insights, but that's about it. It's a helpful tool, but it certainly shouldn't be taken as the only description of one's personality or the only way in which someone defines themselves, especially in a spiritual context -- and I've been in a position to see how spiritually dangerous it can be for someone when it IS.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a lot of time to respond, but nunsense, I think you're getting the wrong idea that people are trying to push you to like temperaments, and I don't think anyone is. Personally I don't care if you care about temperaments or if anyone else does... but I do find it somewhat offensive that you continue to imply that someone is less Catholic if they find value in it, when it is something that has played a role in the Church for centuries. No one said it should be everything, or that religious communities should use it to decided if someone has a vocation.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
IgnatiusofLoyola

[quote name='Indwelling Trinity' date='06 April 2010 - 07:54 AM' timestamp='1270558450' post='2087611']
Laughing hard here...after my being in and out of the hospital since Wednesday of Holy week, I needed a good laugh! Hope and peace sounds like they are laced with something [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/shock.gif[/img] Carmels LOL if i remember had coupons on the back for free gifts.... so given my vow of poverty it must have been the Carmels! [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif[/img]

Thanks for the Laugh! [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/smokey.gif[/img]
[/quote]


LOL at "Sister Smoke Ring." [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif[/img]

In our imaginary order, smoking isn't allowed (we have to give up SOMETHING), but we need a resident saint. So, when people ask about the halo over your head, we don't want to brag or seem more holy than others, so we will just say, "Oh, Sister Mary Smoke Ring has been hiding behind the statue of Mary in the grotto smoking stogies again."

I like the name "Sister Smoke Ring" almost as much as I like "Sister Rosary Bede" (which is my favorite name so far.)

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='zunshynn' date='06 April 2010 - 08:55 AM' timestamp='1270565759' post='2087650']
I don't have a lot of time to respond, but nunsense, I think you're getting the wrong idea that people are trying to push you to like temperaments, and I don't think anyone is. Personally I don't care if you care about temperaments or if anyone else does... but I do find it somewhat offensive that you continue to imply that someone is less Catholic if they find value in it, when it is something that has played a role in the Church for centuries. No one said it should be everything, or that religious communities should use it to decided if someone has a vocation.
[/quote]

I was in a hurry when I wrote that, and so it was somewhat abrupt, so I just wanted to add a couple things in addition to mentioning that if it sounded harsh, I didn't mean it too.

It's just that even if someone doesn't have an interest in something, it doesn't make it less legitimate. Personally, I haven't spent time studying temperaments because it's "fun". I have because it's helped me gain self-knowledge in my spiritual life, recognizing vices that I'm prone to fall into, and because it is respected in the Catholic Church for centuries.

So when someone compares it to horoscopes and astrology, when those things are not only frivolous but also unethical, and temperaments are not, and have been valued by saints and moral theologians in the Church for centuries (Dietrich von Hildebrand comes to mind, and I seem to think Aquinas as well, although I don't remember a large number of them), I find that a little offensive.

That doesn't mean all or even a majority of saints needed to know anything about it to become holy. But most saints probably knew very little or nothing of Canon Law, or the decrees of ecumenical councils, etc. either... does that make it unimportant?

I realize that you have a background in psychology, and I do respect that... But it surprises me that someone with that kind of background would freely make comparisons like that between things that really have no connection.

But as I said, it doesn't matter to me if you have an interest in it or not... That's totally up to you. But just because you don't like it doesn't lessen the place it has had in the Church, or make it a silly stereotyping game.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='zunshynn' date='06 April 2010 - 01:36 PM' timestamp='1270571760' post='2087699']
So when someone compares it to horoscopes and astrology, when those things are not only frivolous but also unethical, and temperaments are not, and have been valued by saints and moral theologians in the Church for centuries (Dietrich von Hildebrand comes to mind, and I seem to think Aquinas as well, although I don't remember a large number of them), I find that a little offensive.
...
But as I said, it doesn't matter to me if you have an interest in it or not... That's totally up to you. But just because you don't like it doesn't lessen the place it has had in the Church, or make it a silly stereotyping game.
[/quote]

????? Where was it in the thread where someone compared it to horoscopes and astrology? I just re-read this thread about 3 times and can't find the reference?

As far as whether the temperaments have a place ... I personally think that there are times where it can be of value, but shouldn't be the "deciding factor."

Having said this -- I think we could all agree to disagree without getting offended?

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='cmariadiaz' date='06 April 2010 - 10:55 AM' timestamp='1270572906' post='2087705']
????? Where was it in the thread where someone compared it to horoscopes and astrology? I just re-read this thread about 3 times and can't find the reference?

As far as whether the temperaments have a place ... I personally think that there are times where it can be of value, but shouldn't be the "deciding factor."

Having said this -- I think we could all agree to disagree without getting offended?
[/quote]

This is what I was thinking of:

[quote name='nunsense' date='05 April 2010 - 07:36 PM' timestamp='1270517794' post='2087362']
I would be very wary of labelling someone according to these standards as much as I would be with any other system such as ennegrams or Myer-Briggs etc, although many swear by them. The minute ones gets labelled, it is very hard to get that label off. 'Oh, that's just because you are a choleric." (or J type personality, or Scorpio, or any other label).
[/quote]

Obviously it would be possible to get stuck into a temperament label and use it as excuses for behavior and things like that, which would not be good. But enneagrams and astrology are inherently a new age thing, which the Church has expressed disapproval of... Temperaments are not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, for example, among the Qualifications required to become a Missionary of Charity I read that candidates must be of a cheerful disposition....has it anything to do with it? :think: :)

Anyway...I know that nunsense is very passionate when speaks about something that is important for her... but I think she doesn't intend to be offensive, she is probably only "sensitive" towards something that maybe in her experience had negative effects upon some people.

Actually, in my opinion I would say that talking about Temperaments could be useful in an auto-analysis, it could be dangerous if used to "label" others.

Finally...I know this is a complete off-topic, but, yes, time ago I sometimes smoke especially when I was nervous...this had a good relaxing effect upon me (anyway I always smoke only few cigarettes) but I was really ashamed when a my friend nun asked me if I smoke! I felt as if I did a very bad thing...well, I've never smoked again after that fact!! :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Lilllabettt' date='06 April 2010 - 12:50 PM' timestamp='1270572612' post='2087702']
What I find most interesting is asking people what temperament they think I am ... its sort of a window into how I'm "coming across" to the world ...
[/quote]

If "totally awesome" were one of the four temperaments, that would be you! :iloveyou: :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...