Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fasting contined: On Gluttony

Dear Parish Faithful,

Here is a worthwhile addendum to the Outline on Fasting sent earlier in the day. It is an insightful look at the passion of gluttony, sent to me by Stephen Wendland:

Dear Fr. Steven,

Further thoughts on fasting as related to the converstion:

From Fr. John Behr's "The Mystery of Christ- Life in Death":

Eating itself is natural to a human being, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the food one eats; it is gluttony, rather, which is a passion and a vice. As St. John Climacus describes it, gluttony is a false opinion about the way things are:

Gluttony is hypocrisy of the stomach. Filled, it moans about scarcity; stuffed and crammed, it wails about its hunger. Gluttony thinks up seasoning, creates sweet recipes…. Gluttony has a deceptive appearance: it eats moderately but wants to gobble everything at the same time.

Glottony has its own cognitive element, and one which is based in deception. Through the practice of fasting, controlling the stomach, one does not simply reduce one’s dietary intake to the minimum possible, but instead learns to break through the hypocrisy of the stomach, to know that one will not die if one does not eat as one has become accustomed to do. The “hypocrisy” of the stomach is not located in the bodily organ itself, but in the mind’s relation to the stomach.

Stephen Wendland

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