What is Gluttony?


#1

Ok I am just curious, I googled it but the definition doesn't exactly explain what it is.
I understand some things but I suppose the one thing I am confused about is what exactly counts as overeating? or excessive eating? I had my dinner around 2 hours ago and now I feel peckish not hungry enough to have a meal but hungry enough to say have a snack like a packet of crisps (chips if your an American) or perhaps a sandwich.
But I have stopped myself right now because I was thinking does that count as eating in excess? I am just confused is someone could tell me what classifies as over eating or eating in excess in plain English I would be grateful.


#2

I don't think the litmus test for gluttony is the actual amount you are consuming at all. (Which is why it is unlikely that you will find a specific answer in Catholic teaching as far as how much is too much.) The test I would use is whether or not your use of food is taking away from your duties as a Christian. Are you allowing your desire for more food or unhealthy food to ruin your health? Are you spending so much on expensive foods that you are unable to meet your obligations to yourself, your family, your parish, etc? Could this money be put to better use for your family or to help others in charity? Is your desire for food effecting your relationships with others and your daily routine? For example, would you refuse to attend an event with your spouse because there might not be food there or you might not care for the food provided? (This may sound rediculous but I have a cousin who refused to attend a wedding because he didn't like the food the reception hall served and his wife was too embarrassed for her husband to walk into a reception with a bag from Wendy's.) Anyway, that's my opinion on the subject.


#3

[quote="Allegra, post:2, topic:323762"]
I don't think the litmus test for gluttony is the actual amount you are consuming at all. (Which is why it is unlikely that you will find a specific answer in Catholic teaching as far as how much is too much.) The test I would use is whether or not your use of food is taking away from your duties as a Christian. Are you allowing your desire for more food or unhealthy food to ruin your health? Are you spending so much on expensive foods that you are unable to meet your obligations to yourself, your family, your parish, etc? Could this money be put to better use for your family or to help others in charity? Is your desire for food effecting your relationships with others and your daily routine? For example, would you refuse to attend an event with your spouse because there might not be food there or you might not care for the food provided? (This may sound rediculous but I have a cousin who refused to attend a wedding because he didn't like the food the reception hall served and his wife was too embarrassed for her husband to walk into a reception with a bag from Wendy's.) Anyway, that's my opinion on the subject.

[/quote]

Ah Ok, that makes sense though as I am quite fond of the old bag of crisps every now and then, and usually have them as snacks and I wasn't too sure.
My diet isn't really that expensive and is relatively healthy (Good amount of veg mixed with meat, basically balanced diet) and I was kinda stressing out slightly because I fancied a little snack but wasn't sure whether me having a little snack when I'm hungry was considered gluttony or not.

And to answer your last question, no I'd put up with no food or not favorable food in an event relationships with others has too be ranked way above that of your diet, thanks for the answer. Now I can enjoy a little snack as I haven't eaten anything since I posted this question.
Thanks for the answer.


#4

Here is an answer from an earlier thread with a similar question:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=341560


#5

[quote="Allegra, post:2, topic:323762"]
I don't think the litmus test for gluttony is the actual amount you are consuming at all. (Which is why it is unlikely that you will find a specific answer in Catholic teaching as far as how much is too much.) The test I would use is whether or not your use of food is taking away from your duties as a Christian. Are you allowing your desire for more food or unhealthy food to ruin your health? Are you spending so much on expensive foods that you are unable to meet your obligations to yourself, your family, your parish, etc? Could this money be put to better use for your family or to help others in charity? Is your desire for food effecting your relationships with others and your daily routine? For example, would you refuse to attend an event with your spouse because there might not be food there or you might not care for the food provided? (This may sound rediculous but I have a cousin who refused to attend a wedding because he didn't like the food the reception hall served and his wife was too embarrassed for her husband to walk into a reception with a bag from Wendy's.) Anyway, that's my opinion on the subject.

[/quote]

I found this answer on gluttony to be very thorough and helpful. Thank you.


#6

You can think of sin as placing something ahead of God in your life. It could be wealth (greed) or sex (lust) or yourself or your ego (pride). In the case of gluttony, you are placing some consumable (food, alcohol, some other drug) ahead of God. You let the consumable be more important than the Almighty. If food or booze keeps you from attending church or having a good prayer life, there's a problem. If you are hung over at Mass, or thinking about food or drink during the service or during prayer, there's a problem.

Having the munchies is not gluttony.


#7

[quote="mountee, post:4, topic:323762"]
Here is an answer from an earlier thread with a similar question:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=341560

[/quote]

Thanks for the link but I have a question about it, "It might help to quit scrupling over how many M&Ms you're consuming and to examine instead why you are eating. Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are bored? Would a taste of chocolate be sufficient or are you "overdosing" on this particular pleasure? If you are not hungry or if you find that you've consumed far more chocolate than was necessary to satisfy a reasonable desire for something sweet, then you might consider whether or not you have sinned. But keep in mind that eating too many M&Ms likely is only venial matter and so you should not worry that you have committed mortal sin."

Well when I get up in the morning, I feel hungry but not really hungry but I know if I do not eat my breakfast I will get hungry during the first hours of school so I eat a bowel of cereal, it's not because I am bored but it's because I know that if I do not eat my breakfast I will lose concentration and be hungry within the first few hours of school. Also yesterday I came back quite late from the cinema with my family and I wasn't that thirsty a little bit but not much but when offered for a drink I said yes drank a little and then ended up not drinking anything, I know it seems stupid but is this gluttony as these thoughts have been going through my head.


#8

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