Is gluttony a mortal sin?

Sometimes it seems like the more I study, the more confused I get.

So, if a person knows he is prone to overindulging, and does it…knowing what he’s doing, etc…is gluttony a sin of grave matter? Does it depend on how much overindulgence there was?

The reason I ask is that “grave” sins are supposed to be those specified by the 10 commandments. And gluttony falls into “Thou shall not kill”. So, even though it’s not specified outright, it is still linked in.

Thoughts?

The Catechism says this about the deadly sins:

1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

Hope that helps.

Adding this:

scborromeo.org/confess.htm

I'll just post the 5th commandment, but the entire Examination is good to read.

FIFTH COMMANDMENT
"You shall not kill." (Ex 20:13)

Did I kill or physically injure anyone?
Did I have an abortion, or advise someone else to have an abortion? (One who procures and abortion is automatically excommunicated, as is anyone who is involved in an abortion, Canon 1398. The excommunication will be lifted in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)
Did I use or cause my spouse to use birth control pills (whether or not realizing that birth control pills do abort the fetus if and when conceived)?
Did I attempt suicide?
Did I take part in or approve of "mercy killing" (euthanasia)?
Did I get angry, impatient, envious, unkind, proud, revengeful, jealous, hateful toward another, lazy?
Did I give bad example by drug abuse, drinking alcohol to excess, fighting, quarreling?
Did I abuse my children?

Wow, it lists it, sort of, right in there with murder and child abuse. Of course, it says, "give bad example".

Let me just shoot straight.

The other night I had a glass of wine with dinner. I couldn't sleep that night, so, I stayed up and had a 2nd glass of wine. No big deal, I usually have 2 anyway. Since I still wasn't tired, I then poured myself a 3rd...and a BIG one at that. As I"m pouring it, I'm thinking..."dude, you're not really thirsty, hungry, and not really in the mood for that...save it for tomorrow...". But, I was actually looking forward to the 'buzz'. So down the hatchet it went.

Honestly, this kind of thing would never have bothered me (having a 3rd glass of wine). It's the fact that I knew that I didn't really need it, I knew (from just having just been to confession) that this was a form of gluttony, and then chugged it down anyway.

I didn't give a bad example and didn't hurt myself physically...but, I overindulged when I believed I should not have. :(

You know, I recently read a news article that discussed binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as drinking 8 drinks an evening, 4 evenings a week.

I would think that would be a closer example of gluttony, than having 3 glasses of wine and enjoying them. I don't think your example rises to the level of mortal sin.

Yesterday, I polished off the rest of a panettone, because no one would eat it and I did not want it to get thrown out. I'm not sure if eating it would be gluttony or throwing it out would be gluttony (wasting food)

But, since you do mention speaking about this in confession, bring it up the next time you go.

[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:4, topic:269726"]
You know, I recently read a news article that discussed binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as drinking 8 drinks an evening, 4 evenings a week.

I would think that would be a closer example of gluttony, than having 3 glasses of wine and enjoying them. I don't think your example rises to the level of mortal sin.

Yesterday, I polished off the rest of a panettone, because no one would eat it and I did not want it to get thrown out. I'm not sure if eating it would be gluttony or throwing it out would be gluttony (wasting food)

But, since you do mention speaking about this in confession, bring it up the next time you go.

[/quote]

:) Thanks, MaryGail. That definition of binge drinking makes me feel better. Yeah, I top out at 3 glasses in a night about once a month...with almost nothing in between.

I guess the guilt stems from having confesed another form of gluttony (eating when I'm not hungry) on the previous day and my conscience was wanting me to make a connection here too. I'll defintely talk to my confessor next week about it...but at least I don't feel like I could be cast into hell at any moment until then. :blush:

[quote="ahs, post:1, topic:269726"]
Sometimes it seems like the more I study, the more confused I get.

So, if a person knows he is prone to overindulging, and does it...knowing what he's doing, etc...is gluttony a sin of grave matter? Does it depend on how much overindulgence there was?

The reason I ask is that "grave" sins are supposed to be those specified by the 10 commandments. And gluttony falls into "Thou shall not kill". So, even though it's not specified outright, it is still linked in.

Thoughts?

[/quote]

CCC 2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

Individual acts of overeating or the like...intemperance (gluttony in this sense) are "ordinarily" a "venial matter" for venial sin...

(though it can be grave such as when one is getting drunk where one looses ones reason is mortal for example (or if it leads to other mortal sins)..or uncorrected habits of eating in a way that will "seriously harm ones health or life" --at least in the "short term" that is...like your doctor tells you --if you do not cut out the junk food your going to have a heart attack very soon!)

Ones confessor can help in this...

We need to seek to grow in the virtue of temperance...

Catechism:

1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going."65 "Keep sane and sober for your prayers."66 Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67 It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72 Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites."73 In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74

To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only God, and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).75

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving 1 Tim 4:3 (I think it was RSV ...or maybe ESV)

[quote="ahs, post:1, topic:269726"]
Sometimes it seems like the more I study, the more confused I get.

So, if a person knows he is prone to overindulging, and does it...knowing what he's doing, etc...is gluttony a sin of grave matter? Does it depend on how much overindulgence there was?

The reason I ask is that "grave" sins are supposed to be those specified by the 10 commandments. And gluttony falls into "Thou shall not kill". So, even though it's not specified outright, it is still linked in.

Thoughts?

[/quote]

Of course it can be of grave matter. Any of the 7 deadly sins can be of grave matter and can qualify as mortal sin. To put it into perspective for you, Pride is ranked as the worst of the 7 deadly sins, while lust is the least serious. Gluttony is somewhere in between.

[quote="Debora123, post:8, topic:269726"]
Of course it can be of grave matter. Any of the 7 deadly sins can be of grave matter and can qualify as mortal sin. To put it into perspective for you, Pride is ranked as the worst of the 7 deadly sins, while lust is the least serious. Gluttony is somewhere in between.

[/quote]

I would note for readers that it can be somewhat confusing in mentioning the "7 deadly sins". A number of them can have "parvity" smallness of matter...(such as in gluttonly and Pride). The same goes for the 10 commandments...they too often have "parvity of matter"

The "deadly" part does not mean that these are the 7 mortal sins...(again I note this for readers).

For example Pride is often not a mortal sin in those seeking to live a Christian life....

[quote="Bookcat, post:9, topic:269726"]
I would note for readers that it can be somewhat confusing in mentioning the "7 deadly sins". A number of them can have "parvity" smallness of matter...(such as in gluttonly and Pride). The same goes for the 10 commandments...they too often have "parvity of matter"

The "deadly" part does not mean that these are the 7 mortal sins...(again I note this for readers).

For example Pride is often not a mortal sin in those seeking to live a Christian life....

[/quote]

I don't think any of them are "often a mortal sin."

But they all CAN be, depending on the gravity of each specific sin. According to Pope Gregory the Great, pride is the most serious of all 7 categories (and so I definitely wouldn't undermine it). Though the rank is not any type of official Church doctrine or anything. At least I don't think it is.

[quote="Debora123, post:10, topic:269726"]
I don't think any of them are "often a mortal sin."

But they all CAN be, depending on the gravity of each specific sin. According to Pope Gregory the Great, pride is the most serious of all 7 categories (and so I definitely wouldn't undermine it). Though the rank is not any type of official Church doctrine or anything. At least I don't think it is.

[/quote]

Sure considering "Lust"..ie. fornication adultery etc are grave matters and yes are very often mortal sins (with the needed knowledge and consent).

Pride is can be often a mortal sin for those who reject God.

St. Gregory in saying that Pride is the most serious of the seven ...is referring it would seem to the actual mortal sin of Pride.... Yes of course such is the worse....and yes such Pride engenders much worse things..

Pride: catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=35765

The term the Catechism prefers for them is "capital" for such means they are at the "head" "capitus" of many sins that they engender.

1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

As does the Compendium from Pope Benedict XVI

  1. What are vices?

1866-1867

Vices are the opposite of virtues. They are perverse habits which darken the conscience and incline one to evil. The vices can be linked to the seven, so-called, capital sins which are: pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

The seven capital sins:

  1. Pride
  2. Covetousness
  3. Lust
  4. Anger
  5. Gluttony
  6. Envy
  7. Sloth

[quote="Bookcat, post:11, topic:269726"]
Sure considering "Lust"..ie. fornication adultery etc are grave matters and yes are very often mortal sins (with the needed knowledge and consent).

Pride is can be often a mortal sin for those who reject God.

St. Gregory in saying that Pride is the most serious of the seven ...is referring it would seem to the actual mortal sin of Pride.... Yes of course such is the worse....and yes such Pride engenders much worse things..

[/quote]

I don't think he ever made that specification.

Honestly, I think people often undermine pride, when it's actually categorized as the worst. It seems like you're trying to excuse it for some reason. :shrug:

[quote="Debora123, post:14, topic:269726"]

Honestly, I think people often undermine pride, when it's actually categorized as the worst. It seems like you're trying to excuse it for some reason. :shrug:

[/quote]

I am not trying to excuse pride. Yes of course it can be said to be the "worse".

But one must realize that there are various degrees of "pride". Yes there are mortal sins of Pride -- indeed. But there are also a number of ways one can sin venially in the area of "pride" which are more likely in terms of those who are seeking to live a Christian life. (though of course they too could fall by Pride...)

See :catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=35765

Okay, I am understanding this more now. The irony is, is it were someone else coming to me asking "did I commit a mortal sin" (having done what I did, in this case) I'd say, "no, you committed a venial sin and your conscience is telling you to be careful...that you are nearing the occasion of grave sin...hence the guilt."

But, when I look at it for myself, I have a harder time telling myself it's a venial sin. :shrug: I guess my general physche is that I'd rather assume the worst for myself and confess it right away, rather than risk going too lightly and not confess a serious sin.

Logically, looking at it with all the information provided, I can say, "nope, this instance was not a mortal sin". I'm just confounded by the amount of guilt I had about it.

What a confessor told me once about mortal sin is this. He said "A sin is mortal when you, with full knowledge, go against God's will in order to disobey God." In the instance I was confessing, it was for masturbation and I was asking him what makes something a mortal sin. He was explaining that if you know full well that you are doing something wrong also essentially saying "screw God I'm doing it anyway" that is when it becomes a mortal sin. He said masturbation isn't always a mortal sin because you just do it because it feels good, not that you are saying I don't care what God says I'm doing it anyway.

So, I would say if you are eating ridiculous amounts knowing that you shouldn't be and are willfully disobeying God, it is a mortal sin. Overeating at the holidays would probably be more of a venial sin due to the fact that you are eating merely for the reason that it is there and so accessible. It doesn't make it right, but there is a difference in the morality of it.

[quote="ahs, post:16, topic:269726"]
Okay, I am understanding this more now. The irony is, is it were someone else coming to me asking "did I commit a mortal sin" (having done what I did, in this case) I'd say, "no, you committed a venial sin and your conscience is telling you to be careful...that you are nearing the occasion of grave sin...hence the guilt."

But, when I look at it for myself, I have a harder time telling myself it's a venial sin. :shrug: I guess my general physche is that I'd rather assume the worst for myself and confess it right away, rather than risk going too lightly and not confess a serious sin.

Logically, looking at it with all the information provided, I can say, "nope, this instance was not a mortal sin". I'm just confounded by the amount of guilt I had about it.

[/quote]

Might be a stumbling block towards scrupulosity.

I tend to be scruprulous, one area I struggle with is after confession I wonder if I forgot something, or I wonder of the Priest understood what I meant (that happens sometimes with foreign priests, or one time an older priest who seemed hard of hearing)

Too bad Father Shaugnessey is no longer on EWTN. He had a few good homilies on scrupulosity.

is Thanksgiving is an exception to feast out?.

[quote="Lily0fthevalley, post:19, topic:269726"]
is Thanksgiving is an exception to feast out?.

[/quote]

One must be guided by the virtues of prudence and temperance (moderation).

How I approach it is that the moderation is going to look different on "feast days" as it will also look different on "fast days".

Such still needs to be "moderate" but such moderation will not be that which is fitting for a non-feast day but that which is reasonable and fitting for a feast.

Catechism:

1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going."65 "Keep sane and sober for your prayers."66 Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67 It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72 Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites."73 In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74

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