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I am unnerved by the almost perfect accuracy with which the "Melancholic temperament" section on this site describes me. Even the unattractive aspects of the temperament that I am loath to admit I posses, If I am honest with myself I do in at least some small measure. The thing I am struggling with constantly is summed up to the letter in this excerpt-
"The melancholic by committing sin falls into the most terrible distress of mind, because in the depth of his heart he is, more than those of other temperaments, filled with a longing desire for God, with a keen perception of the malice and consequences of sin. The consciousness of being separated from God by mortal sin has a crushing effect upon him. If he falls into grievous sin, it is hard for him to rise again, because confession, in which he is bound to humiliate himself deeply, is so hard for him. He is also in great danger of falling back into sin; because by his continual brooding over the sins committed he causes new temptations to arise. When tempted he indulges in sentimental moods, thus increasing the danger and the strength of temptations. To remain in a state of sin or even occasionally to relapse into sin may cause him a profound and lasting sadness, and rob him gradually of confidence in God and in himself. He says to himself: "I have not the strength to rise again and God does not help me either by His grace, for He does not love me but wants to damn me." This fatal condition can easily assume the proportion of despair."

I am there now. I mean, this is EXACTLY how I feel. I could have written this paragraph! I am in paradise when I can go to confession and be free but then it is only a matter of time before I fall and I go into this mode. I prayed for hours and hours every day after going to confession this past week and I still committed a mortal sin. I do not want to offend God but I do and I cannot confess this sin right away because the SSPX priest will not come back for two weeks. So for two weeks I will be in agony and feel cut off from God. I have noticed more than a few fellow Melancholics here and I was hoping that some of you feel this way and have found a way to get up after you fall because I cannot.

pax

Brevis Vir
Medieval psychology was based on observation and so tended to be accurate at least some of the time. This is no exception. I am pretty much choleric, although people who do not know me think I am phlegmatic because of how calm I typically am.
Are you sure you're not being scrupulous? Melancholics are often scrupulous and believe they're in mortal sin when they're not. Of course, you would know your own conscience.
"Every one of us wants to be happy. The Lord gave us the Earth so we can live happily on it, sort of participating in the glory of God. Yet we constantly hear that our life brings us no joy. Every day we get up, work, get tired; we are bored with our monotonous life. Indeed, if we pay attention, we see that we spend our days taking care of business, being nervous, frustrated, irritated, quarreling over unimportant things and feeling ourselves unhappy, worthless and lonely. We are, indeed, unhappy, for we are slaves of material things; we live like machines and submit to the flow of circumstances. All of our energy is spent on things insignificant that we have today, but may not have tomorrow.

We fail to distinguish between our real life and our temporary life full of offences, judgment of others and envy. Irritated and despondent, we lose the peace of heart and are immersed into darkness. We don’t like anything, friends appear to be enemies, even the light of the sun does not seem to shine for us, and the birds are singing for someone else. When we are in a state like this, the source of our well-being and joy is hidden from us. We don’t see anything good in ourselves or in others. Everything appears bad to us. So, what’s the matter? What is it that makes our life miserable? We live with a darkened heart. We mistake this temporary possession of us by the dark forces, this sinful state of our soul, for reality, for our true self..."

http://dontcallmealice2.wordpress.com/20...happiness/


(01-05-2010, 01:18 AM)Iolanthe Wrote: [ -> ]Are you sure you're not being scrupulous? Melancholics are often scrupulous and believe they're in mortal sin when they're not.

Maybe, but every sin feels so very serious. Whether or not the sin was mortal I cannot be certain. I certainly see the sin as grave, I committed it with full knowledge and consent although I did struggle against it for as long as I could. There are factors that might diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense though I am not entirely sure if they did...
I am a melencholic and I also have this prob. Summer of 08 I was so afraid that I was committing a sin of some sort I would spend hours in my room in front of my alter thingy praying. Then I'd get up go outside to tend the garden and no less than five minutes or so latter I would be back in my room. It turned into a real scrupulosity OCD problem. I finaly just had to say Lord you know the secrets of my heart forgive my sins that I commit and have mercy on me. I'd say that whenever I felt like I needed to go into my room and pray and eventually I worked out of my scrupulosity trap.
From The Four Temperaments by Rev. Conrad Hock
http://catholinks.com/FourTemperaments.htm
Quote:VI  Method of Self Training for the Melancholic Person

1. The melancholic must cultivate great confidence in God and love for suffering, for his spiritual and temporal welfare depend on these two virtues. Confidence in God and love of the Crucified are the two pillars on which he will rest so firmly, that he will not succumb to the most severe trials arising from his temperament. The misfortune of the melancholic consists in refusing to carry his cross;

his salvation will be found in the voluntary and joyful bearing of that cross. Therefore, he should meditate often on the Providence of God, and the goodness of the Heavenly Father, who sends sufferings only for our spiritual welfare, and he must practice a fervent devotion to the Passion of Christ and His Sorrowful Mother Mary.

2. He should always, especially during attacks of melancholy, say to himself: ''It is not so bad as I imagine. I see things too darkly," or "I am a pessimist."

3. He must from the very beginning resist every feeling of aversion, diffidence, discouragement, or despondency, so that these evil impressions can take no root in the soul.

4. He must keep himself continually occupied, so that he finds no time for brooding. Persevering work will master all.

5. He is bound to cultivate the good side of his temperament and especially his inclination to interior life and his sympathy for suffering fellow men. He must struggle continually against his weaknesses.

6. St. Theresa devotes an entire chapter to the treatment of malicious melancholics. She writes: "Upon close observation you will notice that melancholic persons are especially inclined to have their own way, to say everything that comes into their mind, to watch for the faults of others in order to hide their own and to find peace in that which is according to their own liking." St. Theresa, in this chapter touches upon two points to which the melancholic person must pay special attention. He frequently is much excited, full of disgust and bitterness, because he occupies himself too much with the faults of others, and again because he would like to have everything according to his own will and notion.

He can get into bad humor and discouragement on account of the most insignificant things. If he feels very downcast he should ask himself whether he concerned himself too much about the faults of others. Let other people have their own way! Or whether perhaps things do not go according to his own will. Let him learn the truth of the words of the Imitation (I, 22), "Who is there that has all things according to his will? Neither I nor you, nor any man on earth. There is no man in the world without some trouble or affliction be he king or pope. Who then is the best off? Truly he that is able to suffer something for the love of God."

http://catholinks.com/FourTemperaments.htm#Melancholic
(01-05-2010, 01:40 AM)BrevisVir55 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2010, 01:18 AM)Iolanthe Wrote: [ -> ]Are you sure you're not being scrupulous? Melancholics are often scrupulous and believe they're in mortal sin when they're not.

Maybe, but every sin feels so very serious. Whether or not the sin was mortal I cannot be certain. I certainly see the sin as grave, I committed it with full knowledge and consent although I did struggle against it for as long as I could. There are factors that might diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense though I am not entirely sure if they did...

If you're unsure of whether it was mortal or not, but think it probably is and find yourself going over and over it in your mind, then it's most likely not and you're being scrupulous. It would probably be a good idea to ask your confessor about it.  I also recommend a book called Light and Peace...I think it's by St. Francis de Sales.
If you say a good act of contrition then you are forgiven and still have to go to the sacrament of confession before your next communion. 
I strongly suggest two books and TAN has both - One is Light and Peace and it has many quotes from Saint Francis de Sales in it.  Has some beautiful, conforting thoughts.  The other book is Growth in Holiness by Father Frederick Faber.  WOW is all I can say - there is even a chapter about discouragement and "what keeps us back."  I strongly suggest both. 

If you exhaust those two - go to Self Abandonment to Divine Providence by Caussade (also TAN) .  He was a spriritual director/confessor for many souls, especially nuns, and some of the letters in the second half of the book will feel like they are being written to you personnaly.

Best wishes and perservere!


(01-05-2010, 12:59 AM)BrevisVir55 Wrote: [ -> ]I am there now. I mean, this is EXACTLY how I feel. I could have written this paragraph! I am in paradise when I can go to confession and be free but then it is only a matter of time before I fall and I go into this mode. I prayed for hours and hours every day after going to confession this past week and I still committed a mortal sin. I do not want to offend God but I do and I cannot confess this sin right away because the SSPX priest will not come back for two weeks. So for two weeks I will be in agony and feel cut off from God. I have noticed more than a few fellow Melancholics here and I was hoping that some of you feel this way and have found a way to get up after you fall because I cannot.

I would exercise the Christian humility and go to confession to an available priests.
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