Spiritual training for one stuck in a bout of melancholia, or seemingly plagued by its constancy

  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 [help] 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 suffering only for our spiritual welfare, and he must practice a fervent devotion to the Passion of Christ …
  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 weakness.

Rev. Conrad Hock, ‘The Four Temperaments and the Spiritual Life’

(Google the author and title to read more about spiritual training for the other temperaments, especially Sanguine and Choleric)


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