So when does modern idolatry become grievous matter?

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

For Christians it is easy not to bow down before another idol but apparently even things like food can become our idols if we enjoy them more than God… So when does idolatry like this exactly become grievous matter? My Confessor told me that it links in with acedia, it would become mortal when we reject the happiness that comes from God completely but it is venial when do not intend to reject it completely but just ‘‘for some time’’ though he added: but acedia is rarely a venial sin.

So it is not wrong to enjoy something as ‘‘God richly provides us with things to enjoy’’ (1 Timothy 6:17) but when would this kind of idolatry become grievous matter? Or is any form of idolatry always grievous matter?

You mentioned you discussed it with your confessor. Why not ask them for the further clarification? Do you trust us more than you trust him? I know I certainly couldn’t give you an answer.

I did, but currently he is out of town so I sent him an email. Hasn’t responded for quite some time so wanted some advice from fellow Catholics.

Evil desire occurs when an improper object moves our appetite to take immoral pleasure in it. The disordered passion lies to the intellect which convinces the will that the lie is the truth, that is, what is evil is good for us.

Right desire occurs when the object proper to the appetite moves us to take pleasure in it. This desire is accord with right reason and the natural law, that is according to the way God designed us. In this case, enjoy. In the former, mortify the disordered passion by denying it.

ISTM that the term idolatry is wildly overused in the modern context.


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