Our seventy-second show debuts on April 19, at 8:00 PM Eastern. Rebroadcasts will take place according to the Crusade Channel programming schedule (note:all times listed are Central time). The topic is The Four Temperaments. My guest is Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M., director of the Saint Augustine Institute of Wisdom.
- The Four Temperaments — good overview at fisheaters.com
- Temperament Part I: The Sanguine and Melancholic; Part 2: The Choleric and Plegmatic Temperaments — excerpted from The Theology of Christian Perfection by Fr. Antonio Royo Marin at traditioninaction.org
- Temperament Test — at personality-testing.info
- The Temperament God Gave You — book review by Eleonore Villarrubia at catholicism.org
- Carl Nielsen Symphony No 2, “The Four Temperaments,” Op. 16 — Paavo Järvi, conducting the Estonian Festival Orchestra (each movement portrays a temperament)
“Reconquest” is a militant, engaging, and informative Catholic radio program featuring interviews with interesting guests as well as commentary by your host. It is a radio-journalistic extension of the Crusade of Saint Benedict Center.
Each weekly, one-hour episode of Reconquest will debut RIGHT HERE on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central). It will then be rebroadcast according to the Crusade Channel programming schedule (note:all times listed are Central time).
Would like to know the scriptural basis for “believeing in” the four temperaments theory. It does seem to ring true, but at the same time if there is no scriptural or “scientific” basis for it, it does seem to be kind of “woo woo” to me.
Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M. said:
Pax Christi. The four temperaments are not at all supernaturally revealed phenomena. So you can stop searching the scriptures for them. With their various names, they go back to ancient and medieval medicine, which taught that body fluids (“humors”) regulated personality traits: blood (sanguine), phlegm (phlegmatic), black bile (melancholic), and yellow bile (choleric) control your personality. But because nobody any longer believes that, the medical theory of it is pretty much discarded now.
So what we are met with is that “it does seem to ring true,” which, of course, is a very powerful argument in its favor. It’s not magic, destiny, fatalism, or mad science. It’s basically a description of certain patterns of behavior based on people’s purely natural responses to stimulus. The fact that we can compartmentalize people into these general categories and not be surprised when they react a certain way to situations is what makes it ring true.
Of course, we must allow place for mixtures of the temperaments, as well as for the good effects of disciple and grace, the bad effects of sin and trauma, etc.
Which is not to say that the study of the temperaments cannot be abused! Some people love to weaponize this knowledge to use against other people. Some folks like to use it to excuse their own bad behavior. To me, the chief values of it are, first, self knowledge, and second, knowing how to deal with your neighbor (including spouses or, in my case, brothers in religion).
Thank you for your beautiful explanation. As always, you are logical and clear.
“To me, the chief values of it are, first, self knowledge, and second, knowing how to deal with your neighbor (including spouses or, in my case, brothers in religion).”
Another thing that understanding temperaments might be good for is helping a young person move in to the right field of study, and career or work choices, or maybe just a satisfying avocation.
Not everyone has the grace to know exactly what career they want to pursue in life. I floundered around and finally, upon retirement, learned that I am a preacher and a teacher and a helper. Would have had a more smooth work history if I had realized that more clearly early on.
I see so many young people fail out of college and get lost at sea these days in trying to find their life’s work. Maybe temperament study could avert that hurtful experience to some extent.
Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M. said:
You’re welcome. I’m glad you find it clear.
Regarding young people, I think you’re right. Knowing one’s temperament is helpful for making certain decisions, as well as maintaining one’s moral life.