Care for your Body as if You Will Live Forever ...

Since the early years of Christian education we have recognized seven vices or “cardinal sins” including: pride, greed, lust, envy, wrath, slothfulness, and gluttony.

Often we hear homilies concerning pride or lust, but we do not really hear too much on “gluttony”.

What is gluttony? It is overeating. Informally, it is “piggishness”. Are we gluttons? Well, let’s do some honest self-reflection on our American culture:

  • In 2012 the USDA reported each of us consumes 1,996 lbs. of food per year – a literal ton.
  • In 2015 the EPA estimated that our nation throws away 35 million tons of food per year.
  • According to the US Dept. of Health a third of us are considered “obese” or grossly overweight.

None of this should be a surprise given the number of meals we can “super-size” and “all you can eat” buffets we can visit. But, why is eating too much food considered a cardinal sin, one of the “big” seven?

First of all, gluttony is a form of lust and greed. It is a desire of the flesh left unchecked, lust; and to meet this unchecked desire more than what is needed is consumed, greed.

Second, it causes unproductivity, “ … the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” So much so, that you should, “… put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.” Prov. 23

Third, gluttony often leads to serious health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, sleep apnea, cancer, and others.

But, overall, gluttony is a lack stewardship. “… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit … You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20

St. Francis students learn that through gluttony their ability to do God ‘s work is greatly impacted.

Gluttony takes time away from communing with God. It also hinders health, taking time away from serving others. Gluttony also leads to money being spent on unnecessary food and health care.

Thus, two critical resources – time and money – that could be used for others are wasted on self.

With tall this in mind, our students learn to, “Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever; and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow.” St. Augustine