Tuesday, March 13, 2012

*Best of DTB #156* The four persons

In a counseling session some years back, our Catholic counselor told me that each person is actually 4 persons- an intellectual person, an emotional person, a spiritual person and a physical person. I certainly came to agree that she was correct. Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter Jr. later confirmed this reality to me.

Yet, two days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see this concept clearly enunciated by Our Savior in the greatest commandment. (my emphasis)

Mark 12

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart (emotional), and with thy whole soul (spiritual), and with thy whole mind (intellectual), and with thy whole strength (physical). This is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
The key to understanding this concept is to understand that, in a healthy individual, each person interacts with, and is dependent on the other 3.

A ruthless genius with no compassion. An athlete with no ability to manage his own life. A person with the best of intentions that sleeps his life away. An emotional cripple who spends her life lamenting all the evil in the world to no good effect. These are all examples of a life out of balance.

I have found out late in life that problems in one area of life are not usually confined to that area. Depression, for example, is an emotional weakness. Science has determined that it may be partially rooted in the physical realm, including diet. That is true enough. Yet, depression can also be caused by an ill-formed intellect- the frustration that results from having not developed basic problem solving skills. By the same token, some people are depressed simply because their souls are sick. They are overcome with selfishness, anger, pride, envy, unforgiveness...any number of things. Often, all 4 are involved.

Likewise, conditions have outward consequences to all 4 persons.

Jealousy of a neighbor (spiritual) causes Bob to become despondent (emotional). As a result, he concludes that God doesn't exist (intellectual) and gives up going to church. He grows spiritually weaker and falls into drinking which has consequences on his health (Physical). All 4 of Bob's persons suffer consequences of the one sin- Pride.

So, what does Jesus mean?

Exploring this question is what makes being a Catholic so great. It is the very essence of Catholic worship that we endeavor to worship the Creator with all 4 persons.

With the Sacraments and prayer, we serve Him with our soul. With tears of remorse and a joyful, giving heart, our emotions. With Spiritual study, our intellect. With fasting, devotions and acts of charity and work, our bodies.

In this season of lent, I'm starting with the men in the mirror- all 4 of them.

I have come to accept the fact that my poor health is no mere inconvenience, it is something that is robbing my family, friends and the world of what I can offer and for how long. I am trying to eat better, walk more and get that blood sugar down. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, of not being able to sleep at 1 AM or stay awake at 7 Pm.

I have come to realize the difference between the remorse that chastens and straightens and the scrupulosity that enslaves.

I have come to realize that I need to spend less time feeling sorry for my self and more time empathizing with others.

I have come to understand that I have much to learn and study.

Most of all, I have come to understand that the natural consequence of loving God with all of you is that you would learn to finally and truly love yourself. The fruit of that, naturally, is love of your neighbor.

I guess Jesus knew what He was talking about after-all. We are all-in. All 4 of us.

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