In my Law & Literature class, we have been studying Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Today one of the topics brought up was the idea of gluttony (def: excessive eating and drinking) as one of the seven deadly sins. According to St. Thomas Acquinas, there are six ways to commit gluttony:
1. Eating too soon.
2. Eating too expensively.
3. Eating too much.
4. Eating too eagerly.
5. Eating too daintily.
6. Eating wildly.
I found this intensely interesting. These ideas were proferred in the middle ages (possibly/probably before but Dante lived in the late 1200's to early 1300's), when people suffered almost their entire lives from malnutrition and died all the time from starvation (both still happen today in many parts of the world). Forget about the amazing variety and availability of culinary options we have now.
Whenever I stayed with my grandparents or aunts while growing up, and they baked rolls, I just couldn't help eating a fresh one as soon as it came out of the oven even though it was only ten minutes before dinner. (glutton). I don't believe in dollar menus. (glutton). I eat chocolate chip cookie dough and sometimes I spoon Breyer's rocky road ice-cream right out of the carton and straight into my mouth. (glutton).
Of course I don't think we should live our lives by medieval standards, but this discussion did get me thinking about the principles of self-control and gratitude that are still so important and so often forgotten, especially by Americans (just watch "The Biggest Loser").
Methinks I have some repenting to do.