Part 2: Gluttony

Let's talk about sin, shall we? The following is part two of our weekly Lenten series on the Seven Deadly Sins.

For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things - Phil 3:18-19.

It's really easy to excuse gluttony (trust me - I'm speaking from personal experience here). "Just one more ... " whatever: one more cookie, one more serving, one more snack, one more Christmas treat, one more trip to the buffet, one more, just one more ... and by the time you're done, it's amazing how it all adds up.

Just one more.

And this is one reason why fasting is so powerful: because we actually choose to stop making excuses, decide to stop putting our appetites and desires in control of our lives, and restore God to His place as Lord of our minds, hearts, and yes, our stomachs, as well. We take our stomach off its throne and replace it with the cross. We say to God, "Obedience to You and honoring You are more important to me than feeling good right now. Pleasure isn't as important as You, Jesus."

That's also why gluttony is one of the seven deadly or capital sins: because it puts the passing things of this earth before anything else. The glutton isn't minding their health, their sobriety, or the impact their actions have on their neighbors. Rather, in that moment of gluttony, all that matters is that next bite, that next drink, that flash of pleasure, that momentary delight, that satiation at the end of the evening, that feeling. We mistake feeling good for being good. We feel good? Life is good. We feel well? We are well. We feel happy? We are happy. But true goodness, wellness, and happiness are a far cry from the high of the addict, whether they are addicted to food, drink or drugs. When we privilege feelings above reality, we are indulging in a life of lies, and a life of lies forms a people of the lie, an evil people, as the author and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explained in his book People of the Lie.

Gluttony turns our attention in on ourselves. We can no longer see past the end of our nose, no longer see the hunger or the thirst of others in our urgent rush for self-satisfaction, no longer perceive the harm our unfettered appetites do to our neighbors, to the environment, to the whole web of relationships between God and His creation.

So let us turn the logic of gluttony against itself. Let us say, "Just one more" to the things of God: just one more prayer, just one more fast, just one more act of almsgiving, one more act of kindness to another, one more smile, one more choice to love. Let us follow the example of St. Faustina and offer one more work of mercy, even in the midst of our own suffering; one more act of trust in Jesus, even as the darkness closes in around us; one more decision to hope in a despairing age; once more into the breach of the culture and the new evangelization; give away one more image of Divine Mercy; tell one more person that God loves them, forgives them, and all can be made right.

Let us learn that healthy, right appetite, which desires to do one more good deed and give one more bit of love to God and neighbor, that is never satisfied with what was done yesterday, but always seeks to live life in the Spirit today, a life of love and gift, a life of generosity that always seeks to give one more time.

One more. Just one more.

The Seven Deadly Sins
Lust
Gluttony
Greed
Sloth
Wrath
Envy
Pride

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