Dec 1, 2009

The Sin of Gluttony

In the words of nineteenth-century Russian Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov:

Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance.

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Gluttony: Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire... leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists.

Gluttony is a serious sin because it enslaves the soul to the body, even though the soul, which is superior, is supposed to be in charge. Gluttons eat not for the sake of fueling their bodies or to participate in social gatherings; but rather they eat just for the sheer pleasure of consuming.

Gluttony contributes to lawlessness because gluttony is excess, and that excess indulges the self and leads to a lack of self-control. The time or activity that one spends glutting himself takes away time from other things, and brings forth a life of irresponsibility. In order to justify the time spent on whatever consumes him, the glutton can't be wrong because that might infringe on the freedom to do what he wants. Therefore, when things go awry, everyone else is responsible for the problems. The glutton has to fill himself with what he wants to do to satisfy self, and this is usually done at the expense of others.

Gluttony is the act of immoderate eating and/or drinking. It focuses on pleasure alone and finds it in food and drink. Enjoying a delicious dinner is not sinful, but eating to the point of hurting yourself (vomiting, or becoming obese) is sinful. Having an occasional drink to celebrate a holiday or festive occasion is not sinful, whereas drinking to the point of drunkenness is a sinful act.

Eating what you don’t even want just for the sake of eating is gluttony. Eating more than you want or need in order to prevent others from getting “your” share is also gluttony. Using alcohol to loosen inhibitions so you can rationalize sin is a form of gluttony which leads to other sins.

Your punishment in Hell will be:

You'll be force-fed rats, toads, and snakes.

And you were just worried about getting fat?

If after all that you're still considering hurling yourself off the precipice of bodily impurity, why not do it with some . . .


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Peanut Butter Chips
1/2 cup Hershey's Syrup

Heat oven to 350F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; mix into peanut butter mixture, blending well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Spread half of batter into prepared pan; spoon syrup over top. Carefully spread with remaining batter; swirl with metal spatula or knife for marbled effect. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. About 36 brownies.

See you in Hell! or Overeaters Anonymous

To overcome the sin of Gluttony, you must practice the:

Heavenly Virtue of Temperance

Deciding how much to eat and drink in advance, and not just “diving in” is a way to practice temperance. Temperance should be combined with periodic fasting and abstinence.

Religious fasting (such as the kind that overcomes gluttony) is not a starvation diet. In the church “fasting” means periodically reducing the amount of food you eat.

The church recommends periodic fasting of three smallish meals (two “less-than-half-of-a-regular-sized-meals” and one regular-sized meal) with no snacks in between. The church also recommends abstinence – avoiding meat or a favorite food altogether, when overcoming gluttony.

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