Virtuous Personality

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart’s desire.”– Psalm 37

What is your personality type?

Mine is a little bit of melancholic, with a lot a bit of sanguine. But there is an influential share of phlegmatic tendencies in most everything that I do. So in other words I love to create and plan and bring people together, but my overly relaxed tendencies forget that with planning comes organization and a lack of it leads to overbooking or overcommitting which then leads to stretching yourself thin andddddd burnout.

Story of my life.

Freud could give us helpful tips on how to mature our personality. He can explain how we developmentally progress from basic instinct and immediate gratification to mature desired responses to real life situations. It all begins with the mind, it is through the intellect that we begin to comprehend life’s expectations and natural law. But what exactly are those expectations and is there more to it than that? Is there a greater law that is not often consider, a divine law perhaps?

What Jung, Freud, Adler, and many others don’t tell us is that there is one essential element that undisputedly transforms a personality into a wholesome gift to yourself, and to the world around you… it is called virtue. More than a bundle of human traits, personality is a gift from God. We can dare say that it is an inherent good in the make-up of our humanity that can channel our ability to express in a singular and unique way, the awesome love of God in our life.

I once thought it easier to conform to those around me because it would ultimately benefit everyone. And while a process of maturation is necessary and expected, it shouldn’t be reduced simply to reason interacting with causality. There is a world of a difference between desiring to conform and allowing yourself to be transformed.

“Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” Mt 5:8 We remember that to be pure of heart is to live a life of love in union with God, to integrate our spiritual life with our exterior reality. We discover that to see God is to love Him with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul, and with all one’s mind. So yes, Freud was right in uncovering the truths about how our mind can formulate a functioning self. And yes, the maturation of our passions are accounted for in his personality theory. But he tends to stop at believing that we should only focus on how to tame our passions, he fails to explain the potential these passions have to be transformed and purified by grace and virtue.

And just as our heart carries our passions, and our mind carries our intellect, so too our unique identity is rooted in our soul. Now can you imagine if we were to insert the life of Christ into this theory? Can you imagine God in the equation? Can you imagine God transforming the understanding of the mind into wisdom, can you imagine allowing Him to purify your passions and desires to more than instinctual reactions? Can you imagine the unity of our personality with our identity as children of God the Father. This kind of transformation is not simply a thing that can be birth by experience, circumstance, or mere self-will.

These are things that undeniably shape the way our personality is influenced. Through experience and free will alone we can choose to conform and mold our unique self expression to something less that we were meant to become but in its purest form, our unique identity was meant to portray the love of God in an unrepeatable way. Holiness consists in uniting our natural powers to the powers of God. Our humanity can only truly be satisfied in union with the divine.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart’s desire.”– Psalm 37

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