Care to join this cat?
But what is the difference between overeating and being a little fat and a little lazy, and gluttony and sloth. I went to the great thinkers of the church for help. I didn't get too far with that. St. Thomas Aquinas is the most often quoted, which is rather ironic, since St. Thomas Aquinas was as big as a house. I've read that maybe he had glandular problems.
I've also read that people who blame their girth on glandular problems are wrong about that 98% of the time.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the expert (in theology), listed six ways to commit gluttony:
- Praepropere - eating too soon.
- Laute - eating too expensively (washedly).
- Nimis - eating too much.
- Ardenter - eating too eagerly (burningly).
- Studiose - eating too daintily (keenly).
- Forente - eating wildly (boringly).
I think if you get a Catholic family of ten around a table for supper on any given day, you probably hit all six before the table is cleared. The six year old grabs for the bread before anyone else has sat down, the fifteen year old has his own bottle of orangina, the eight year old is having a contest with the seven year old to see who can eat the most, Dad is shoveling in the meatloaf, the fourteen year old girl is picking at her potatoes because she read about carbs causing weight gain and the baby is flinging peas.
St. Alphonsus Ligouri cleared things up a little. Here's his comment:
"...it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault."
I love St. Alphonsus Ligouri. He had arthritis so bad and was so bent over from it that his chin wore a hole in his chest. You can't begrudge a guy like that getting some enjoyment from his food.
We could try to get off easily and say that if we are devoting too much time and energy to food, maybe we are sinning. That doesn't really work either. You might have a job making beautiful cakes. Those beautiful cakes bring people pleasure and are often a way of expressing our love. So is a nicely presented, tasty dinner. Or lunch or breakfast or snack.
Jesus certainly seemed to enjoy a good meal with his friends. He enjoyed a tiny bit of luxury even. Remember the incident with the perfume? So, no help there.
I'd go with this. Eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full, even if the food tastes really great. Save it for later when you are hungry again.
How will you know if you are eating too much? You'll be a little fat. Maybe you'll be a lot fat. That means you're eating too much. Or you are in the 2% that actually have a glandular problem.