Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Extreme Freud

A quiz on all five stages of Freudian pyschological development. My own results:

Freudian Inventory Results
Oral (60%) you appear to have a good balance of independence and interdependence knowing when to accept help and when to do things on your own.
Anal (40%) you appear to have a good balance of self control and spontaneity, order and chaos, variety and selectivity.
Phallic (56%) you appear to have a good balance of sexual awareness and sexual composure.
Latency (30%) you appear to be overly practical; don't undervalue abstract learning, abstract learning increases your ability to make good decisions (and predictions) in the real world so it would be 'impractical' to shun it.
Genital (53%) you appear to be somewhere between a progressive/openminded and regressive/closeminded outlook on life.
Take Free Freudian Inventory Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Also from the quiz:

Freud theorized that there are 5 stages of psychological development. At the oral stage the main issue is dependency, at the anal stage the main issue is self control, at the phallic stage the main issue is sexual identity, at the latency stage it's skill development, and at the genital stage it's creativity and productivity.

Freud theorized that psychological problems are related to problems during one or more of these stages. For example, being too cared for or too neglected causes someone to be orally fixated, too much or too little control causes someone to be anally fixated, insufficient parental role modeling causes phallic fixation.

An orally fixated person is either irrationally dependent (expects what they want to just appear) or irrationally independent (always refuses help).

An anally fixated person is either irrationally self controlled and servile to authority or has no self control and is compulsively defiant of authority.

A phallicly fixated person is either a sexual compulsive (sexually innappropriate/promiscuous) or sexually repressed.

Freud did not classify any latent fixation but I think it is as plausible as those at the other stages. I speculate that people that like to learn and acquire knowledge without any purpose or people that are compulsively non curious represent both dysfunctional ends of the latency spectrum.

The genital stage is the final Freudian developmental stage and according to Freud people don't all succeed at this. Freud believed the ideal for human happiness is to be happy in love and work, problems in one or the other cause unhappiness.

Like any personality system, Freud's developmental levels are just a theory, so, be speculative about your results.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I just gave my two-week notice at work. And the relief and excitement I felt after finally broaching the topic of seminary far outweighed any anxiety beforehand.

To avoid creating discomfort in the workplace, I had kept quiet about the Jesuits after being accepted in January. As of this week, I'd been silent for exactly six months.

Friday, June 17, 2005

What am I doing?

Friends often ask what I will be doing for the next two years as a Jesuit novice.

While I like to explain the Jesuit novitiate as a sort of apprenticeship period, many still do not understand how it is any different from major seminary.

What am I doing for the next two years? Perhaps the best answer is that I will spend the time praying over these words:

Almighty and eternal God, I, NAME, though altogether most unworthy in your divine sight, yet relying on your infinite goodness and mercy and moved with a desire of serving you, in the presence of the most Holy Virgin Mary and your whole heavenly court, vow to Your Divine Majesty perpetual poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus; and I promise that I shall enter the same Society in order to lead my entire life in it, understanding all things according to its Constitutions.

Therefore I suppliantly beg Your Immense Goodness and Clemency, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to deign to receive this holocaust in an odor of sweetness; and that just as you gave me the grace to desire and offer this, so you will also bestow on me abundant grace to fulfill it.

(Formula for first vows in the Society of Jesus. These vows are simple and perpetual, not temporary.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Well, my prayer life seems to be going nicely as I prepare to decamp Florida: A little spiritual reading, silent reflection and breviary sustain me almost daily.

Work is ok too. Today I received a videotape in the mail from Rodney Rothman, a young comedy writer I interviewed for a feature story last month.

The tape contained a television interview between Rodney and ABC talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who holds up a copy of my article at one point during the segment.

Ironically, the article was one of the more loosely-written things I've written. Such are the pieces which typically land me or my sources on radio and television talk shows.

Timing is everything. Rodney could have held up the New York Times article on the same subject, but my story happened to appear as he was making his South Florida book tour.

Anyway, our interview was fun.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A convert's lament

Under my skin
in the sanctuary
You are there. Here.

Indelible mark
water, smoke, beads

Stranger among friends
no turning back
love's tyranny.
What happened?

Songs and libations
restless, used, laughing

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nothing for the journey

Our Jesuit entrance class recently received a four-page letter from the Master of Novices at Grand Coteau.

It offers advice on dealing with Satan and outlines what we should bring with us on Aug. 14 for the next two years of our lives, primi and secundi, at St. Charles College.

Much of the letter describes what not to bring. Here is the most important sentence:

"In general, do not bring lots of things with you."

Attached to the letter is an itemized clothing list: black socks, shoes, etc.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Sacred Heart

Today was the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a liturgical celebration that falls on the Friday after Corpus Christi.

Christ reportedly said to St. Mary Margaret: "Behold this heart which has loved men so much that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to them its love."

Many have been deeply attached to this image of Christ's love. Others have found it dull, saccharine and hokey. Consider it for a few moments. What does it mean to you?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Farewell to paradise

My last full month on the Treasure Coast, where every day is paradise and New Yorkers still manage to complain, is underway.

I've been scheduled for my last month of parish ministries. I've had the last meeting with my West Palm Beach spiritual director.

Before long, I'll be enjoying my last trip to the beach and my last newspaper deadline.

But rather than kvetch about the loss of each relationship, lizard and palm tree, I'm just enjoying my last days in Florida.

I am grateful to store the past year in my memory.

The experience of four hurricanes should provide plenty of stories. And the professional experiences, including run-ins with the mob and bogus plastic surgeons, will only get more surreal with time.

Last and not least, I can now answer the question of where Floridians go for vacation: further south.
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