Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gluttony in All its Forms

Gluttony has been among the most common of my sins in the last year and half. When I first learned about gluttony as one of the deadly sins, images of the cookie monster and Augustus Gloop waddled through my mind. The downplayed sin appears to be two-dimensional and simple, but it's more invasive and complicated than we like to admit. The Devil has made the Truth about gluttony conveniently opaque and I know I don't love examining it.

*Giggle* "Wait until you see my secret Twizzler drawer!"
Gluttony comes disguised in a myriad of ways (of all of which I am guilty):

  • Food, thinking about food, planning for the next meal's food as you're still finishing the bite of this meal, thinking about how you wish you weren't thinking about food, eating food, eating more food, food, food, food.
  • Instagram (et al) and digesting as much of other's lives as you can with your neck positioned in a tilted L shape.
  • Gossip and indulging in constantly criticizing others.
  • Research and unbridled Google searching for answers. I constantly search for answers to medical issues, reasons for why "it must be harder for me than everyone else," and other topics about which I would rather read than take action.
  • Working (day job and other hobbies that earn recognition) to the extent that it invades the more important Marian (vs Marthanese) aspects of life. Often this form of gluttony is motivated by seeking praise and promotion (or trophies, ribbons, medals, and other rewards for those swim meets and games kids are participating in on Sunday morning).
  • "Freedom" and "finding yourself" - total farces. Simply put, "I was looking outside / as if love would ever want to hide / I'm finding I was wrong" (Matt Maher, Alive Again).
How many other forms of gluttony could we identify? Thousands, probably, because the Devil pushes us to excess in order to drown us in it, distracting us from God.

I could not do better than the padres of Catholic Stuff You Should Know in their episode, "Watchfulness and Addiction." Please go listen to it. 

I will paraphrase the part that broke the barrier for me and made me realize there was a better way to life: our bodies do not have a moral compass. Our minds need to be that moral voice for our bodies. For example, when we're feeling an emotion that typically encourages us to overeat, drink, or gossip to relieve that emotion, our mind has the control to take action and break the cycle. Our bodies will rebel after long periods of time developing that habit ("Hey, I thought this is what we do when X happens?!"), but our mind needs to be that voice of active reason. Our bodies are not in charge.

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