My Bio: The Aggressive Phlegmatic

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The following article gives great ideas for Lenten sacrifices based on your temperament:

If you look at the phlegmatic suggestions, I not only already do them all year round, but I go overboard with them. Take the “logging off social media” for example. I have straight up deactivated and deleted apps. “Turn off the tv”? I don’t have cable or Netflix. “Give up complacency”? I’ve even been known to be aggressive in some arguments…so much that I was even accused of throwing Nuclear Bombs on North Korea…but for the record, my response was very gentle in reality. It was the fact that there was a response that felt like a bomb to a person very sensitive. But when a person keeps directly false claims at me, I do feel it right to state the truth.

Back to the article. I think it’s a great article especially because many people out there are into the temperament discussion. I think I happened to already be doing the suggestions for my temperament because of: 1) penance is central to Fatima’s message 2) we need to have disciplines as Jesus’ disciples #carryCrossesAlso 3) having a spiritual director for the routine prayer life and 4) the aggressive arguments actually weren’t hard to make. It was just stating facts whereas the other side would make assumptions not knowing the facts. What brings out my frustrations is when the other side refuses to believe facts and stays only in the mind. And normally this phlegmatic would just stop there, but when the other side keeps attacking, and being the classical phlegmatic doesn’t work, then I go into my aggressive, competitive sports athlete, crossfitter, jiu jitsu, volunteer fire fighter mode and stand up for myself for the sake of the objective truth and for my personal dignity.

BUT, if I were to have cussed someone out, I actually doubt that it’s a bad thing. It could very well be the right thing to do. Our God is the same God of the Old Testament with consequences, as well as any good parent giving consequences to their children. He is passionate that the truth be known. Even Saint Thomas More cussed out Martin Luther in their days. Steve Weidenkopf, the church history professor at Christendom College came out with a new book, Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church that mentions More’s words, which he got from a Dominican book, The Catholic Church Through the Ages by John Vidmar, O.P., which he got from The Life of Thomas More by Peter Ackroyd.

Don’t judge, but I happened to have all 3 books because I’m a bibliophile. And I didn’t get them all at the same time. It just came together with Weidenkopf’s latest book. Anyways, St. Thomas More called Martin Luther,

“an ape, ass, drunkard, a lousy little friar, a piece of scurf, a pestilential Buffon, a dishonest liar.”

And that’s not all of it. I’ll refrain from sharing more quotes so that you might be inspired to buy the book. The source by Ackroyd that is, but feel free to get all 3. But here’s more to spoil. Thomas More called Luther a piece of shit. I’m guessing because of multiple reasons besides the obvious. Luther’s theology was that God’s mercy covers our sins (shit or dung) like snow on the dung. Whereas Catholic Church teaching is such that we aren’t covered but transformed (when we’re repentant and in the state of grace through the Sacrament of Reconciliation).

I’m assuming Thomas More said his words while under control and with peace. I believe it’s possible because I’ve been able to do it myself. There is a great temptation to say those things OUT of control and WITHOUT peace, but you should be able to do it More’s way if you offer your sufferings/crosses/frustrations with Jesus’ passion.

“Remember to unite your sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Go to Mass; there you will find the mainstay of your life, the help that will give you strength to bear your trials.” -Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

If you don’t unite it with Jesus’ passion, then it just naturally follows for sinful events. And that temptation is strong. The grace given to me would never be to hurt another person directly, but my personal temptations would be to sin between me and God (which still hurts others but indirectly).

But enough venting. And I don’t think it would get back to those couple people (one good friend and another with non-stop suggestions towards youth group and you just ask any volunteer and parent, and they’ll say we’ve tried it…and by the way, suggestions are good and welcome, but I do believe the wise thing would be to start with a humble question if we’ve tried it rather than assuming it hasn’t been done).

But I’m sharing in today’s blog as there’s good wisdom to be had from these experiences #beThomistic #beHumbleAndAskQuestions #insteadOfConstantlyAssuming #andPushingYourAgendaAgainstObjectiveTruth

For more on these different ways of arguing, you can read the second half of my other blog which hits on Thomistic philosophy versus Cartesian philosophy.

Today’s challenges for readers:
1) Check out the article over for Lenten sacrifices based on your temperament
2) Do something penitential or hard to do and offer it up for your sins (or if you think you’re perfect, offer it for the conversion of others as well as pray for the grace of humility!) It’s not just for phlegmatics, but for all Christians!
3) Buy a copy of St. Thomas More’s biography.
4) Pray for peace and truth to be known.

Also, please keep me in prayer for my journey of faith. Prayers for you as well.
Going old school,
Mike Panlilio

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