How do you know if you committed the sin of gluttony?
Gluttony can be eating too much, having a compulsion for food, or being picky about what we eat (wanting to eat the best food-- the richest, most delicious, or sometimes, even the healthiest). It’s giving food a higher priority than it deserves. As for how you know if you’ve committed it, that’s more difficult because there are gray areas in there. I think a good rule of thumb might be 1. Be thankful for your food. 2. try to eat healthfully, but don’t be fussy. 3. Eat until you’re satisfied but not full.
On clear way is if you are ever too full like where it hurts. That was a glutenous meal. There is also a difference between trying filet minion just to try it once and requiring for every meal. A person can try new foods and exquisite foods to try it but needing it is gluttonous
Certain cultures praised gluttony as one of their pleasures.
So, they had rooms known as “vomitoriums” … [yes, pretty disgusting] … [mostly some Romans and Nazi’s] … where during a huge meal, they would vomit their food, clean up and then go back and eat more.
THAT is gluttony.
Eating until you’re full, like celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, not so much.
Read up on scrupulosity … do a search here on CAF; there are some excellent things to read such as Scrupulous Anonymous … and a couple of books … I think one of the authors is Fr. Thomas Santa.
Gluttony is a habit, just as the virtue of Temperance is a habit. A habit is something that a person has like a second nature. A habit is also something that you choose to exercise, or not, but when you do, you are very adept at it, like a professional.
Your Reason, when faced with the options of eating “all out” or eating in moderation, will let you know (almost unconsciously) that one way is prudent (the narrow way) and one way is not prudent (the wide road), and, when you were baptized and confirmed you were granted the virtue, the habit, of an inspired prudence, which is the habit of making good choices morally. Again, this is a habit that you may or may not follow. But when you use it, it will be like a second nature to make prudent decisions, it is a habit infused by God, a gift to you.
It is a kind of rebellion against your own prudence, against your reason, when you exclaim (silently or out loud), “What the heck, ‘Party time’, I don’t care, I want all of this right now”.
And that is gluttony, or the sin of gluttony, it is the abandonment of reason whose job it is to guide you to your true happiness, and thus the abandonment in the moment of God, who is your true happiness, abandonment rather than exercise of a different habit that you know easily how to do once you choose it (that different habit is temperance). Temperance is a habit of controlling or limiting an appetite, again, a gift of God to you, so that as you exercise it you will realize it is like a second nature to you to eat as informed by reason.
During Lent you may have taken the opportunity to live out these habits, by choosing to behave according to an understanding (of your reason) rather than acting without thought in some area of your life.
Reason, the virtue of temperance, and good judgement of conscience can guide one in ones eating. Though it is to be noted that what is contrary to temperance for one is not for another and as at least one Saint reminds us–this is a area that is a difficult one where many struggle.
Also note that often one is dealing with venial gluttony --not serious (an example of serious gluttony is loosing ones reason via being drunk…). It is important to note this for some get confused on this subject.
We should seek to live by virtue here and to eat reasonably…
Excellent post! I would add that educating oneself about proper portion sizes can be really helpful since our modern Western society serves gargantuan meals. Does anyone truly need endless free refills of soda, coffee, soup or breadsticks? Hardly.
I would very much encourage those interested in this topic to research World War II rationing, especially in the UK- they endured stricter, longer rationing, and many hard sacrifices. I’m currently reading How We Lived Then by Norman Longmate and Nella Last’s War and find them so inspiring. They pretty much lived a fourteen-year Lent! I personally find this helpful both in terms of practising temperance and for simple, practical penance.
Hope this helps. God bless you.
Thank you for the replies!
Also, when would gluttony be a mortal sin?
Getting drunk (to the point of loss of reason or leading to other serious sins)
Habits that *seriously *harms your health (at least in the short term) if not corrected can be mortal. Your doctor telling you --if you do not give up chocolate --you will be dead in 3 months time would certainly be such.