According to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. Everyone in this world has a choice of what they want to be or what they want to do in their life. God gave every person a free will to choose whether to be good or bad. However, the choice is in their hand if they are going to let evilness win the battle in their life. In real life it seems that good and evil are connected to each other, whatever a person does good there is always a part of evilness on it, but it is in people’s hand on how they will balance the goodness and evilness in this world and let the good win in the battle in their lives.
According to Eric Burdon, inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other. Being good or bad is a synonym for having virtues and vices. They always connected with each other. From a society’s point of view, whatever can benefit the people is considered good and whatever is not is considered evil. However, if they see the perception of God, for him all mankind possess a good side, whatever evilness they have they can always choose on how to be good, they are not permanently sinners, God always gives a chance for those people who want to change their lives, to let goodness be in their heart as long as they are sincere and they act based on what God wants for them. Unlike in the society, they will judge based on what they see or what they hear, and act based on what they know what is the right thing to do. Always remember that God is the only one who can judge if the person is really good or evil because He is the only one who can see what is really in a person’s mind and in their heart.
Lastly, everyone in this world possess a good and bad morals, they have their own moral value that they can learn at home or in school and in people around them but whatever morals they have, they should always think about what they should do and what they should act, that is the right and good and they should always have the chance to change for the better, while they are alive there always still a hope. In addition, they should always learn to balance their life. Yes sometimes they always act based on what they know is good for them but they don’t know that based on the eyes of God it is wrong, meaning it is not acceptable in the word of God. The most appropriate example of it is the behavior of people each day that maybe they don’t know that in the simple act it is maybe considered as sins of the things that is “too much.” Hence, according to Thomas Aquinas the things that we love tell us what we are.
Food is one of the basic needs of human. Most people love to eat and that is a fact. When someone asks if what they want or what they love, sometimes their answer is food instead of love, peace or happiness. However, food is something material that a money can buy. Food is something that makes people happy. If a person is satisfied and contented with what he/ she eats, try to look at them they are full of happiness however, observe those people who can’t eat at least three times a day, those people who cannot eat the food that they deserve, the healthy and tasty food that everyone should eat. Try to watch those kids and family live in the streets or squatter areas, what do they eat? Why is life so unfair? Why do many people receive all the blessings in the world but there are people who are destitute in life? Why there are people who receive too much but does that know how to give and why there are people who are needy and poor but knows how to help others? Why everyone wants too much even if it is bad and why, why do the people of God let this happen? Always think that “too much is bad,” too much of love is bad for the heart same as too much of food and alcohol is bad for the health and too much of everything can result in evilness and too much can kill you.
The reason of discussing eating too much food and consuming too much in life is because of one of the seven deadly sins and that is Gluttony and how can people lessen it is because in the help of one of the seven heavenly virtues/ cardinal virtues which is temperance or abstinence.
“The seven deadly sins are untrue characters that cloud are conscience and divert our judgment of what is good and what is evil.” Sins have always been popular areas of focus in the church. An early 2nd- century document, the Didache, contains a list of five. However, Origen produced a sevenfold list and at the end of the 4th- century, Cassian revised this sevenfold list. Eventually, the Seven Deadly Sins or Vices today were defined in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great, as a set of negative values, the values that you are supposed to avoid. These are pride, envy wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. (Changing Minds, 2016)
Food has been in people’s lives since the beginning. According to Romans 5:12 (Paul) “Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed into all men, by which all sinned.” The human desire for food was one of the things that the devil used to bring sin into the world and cause the fall of mankind. This food was not necessary, there was plenty of other food in the garden of Eden beside the forbidden fruit, but when Eve “saw that the tree was good for food she took of the fruit of it, and ate, and gave also to Adam and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6), and thus “sin entered into the world, and death by sin;” (Romans 12:5). This is a proof that the devil used the man’s desire for food to attract every man to evilness and until now he is continuing to attract everyone to keep sinning against God. The word of God says, “Nor give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:27), “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7), “for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11). These are the instructions for everyone to be aware of this sin, and to reject it if it applies to the life of all people. (Logos Apostolic, 2007)
Many people today who are living extravagant or selfish lifestyles, or those people who have a golden spoon in their mouth, “over-do” many things, they don’t realize that Scripture teaches moderation in everything. In the seven deadly sins, envy, gluttony, lust and greed, they are mostly all about desire. These are the sins that are the same in some manner. Sin is a bad deed or wrongdoing. It is abusing your position and goes against the will of God. Moreover, one of the seven deadly sins that mentioned is gluttony. Gluttony is defined as “excess in eating or drinking.” Beyond consumption, gluttony is a food worship and developing excessive pleasure from it. It is about an excess of anything. Gluttony is normally mistaken for obesity. Not all who are fat are gluttons, just as not all gluttons are fat. Gluttons mean one who eats to excess, or who takes pleasure in immoderate eating. Gluttony is a term derived from the Latin word meaning to “gulp down” it is usually used in reference to over-consumption of food or drink. However, gluttony is not only for food and drinks only it can also apply to toys, television, entertainment, sex, or relationships. Gluttony is a misrepresentation of our need to keep ourselves alive. Nowadays large numbers of people still suffer from malnutrition, while others increasingly consume excessive amounts of food even they don’t need, which until now there is no explanation for it. Additionally, the Greek word for gluttony can mean ‘madness of the stomach.’ (Bowers, 2015)
Gluttony is perhaps both a sin against the self, as a disorder of appetite and others especially those who have nothing, who can’t maintain the proper nutrients that they should have. Food has become everyone’s lover and at the same time their enemy. When they eat too much, they are faced with guilt which is the sense of loss of control and health risks and concerns. Furthermore, gluttony is associated with a lack of self-control. It is an intemperate desire for bodily satisfaction in the use of food, drink or sleep. Gluttony is somewhat like an addiction but gluttony is in a very critical stage where if you cannot control you may hurt not only yourself but also your relationship with God because what they do with their food is a clear reflection with their relationship to God. Remember that God is always in front of every People, He sees everyone and He knows what everyone is doing.
Food or everything people have is a blessing. One should always remember that this blessing should not take for granted because there are a lot of people who are not receiving the blessing as the way you do. If people are unable to control their eating habits, chances are, they are also unable to control their other habits. Finally, the definition of gluttony needs to go beyond ordinary overeating to include another form of food abuse, the arrogance in food. It’s possible to look for our satisfaction in the food we consume but it’s also possible and just as dangerous to look for our satisfaction in the food we avoid.
The best example for gluttony is the overeating. Most people want to eat in the buffet or eat all you can, the “unlimited rice”, “the unlimited food and drinks,” that sometimes they just want to have many choices regarding the food that they love to eat. Not only the obese or fat people are guilty in this manner, no one is an exception because those people who have money will surely go to these places just to satisfy their cravings and be pleased in the food they want. The Mang Inasal is one of the food chains in the Philippines that is serving “Unlimited Rice” their agenda is to serve Filipino, the amount of rice they want to eat. The ‘Tramway, Vikings, Kamayan, Buffet 101, Spiral and PVL’ are some of the well- known Buffet in the Philippines. However, the question for the people who eat in this ‘eat all you can restaurant’ do they eat all the food on their plate? Do they finish eating all the crabs, steaks, prawns, and other food on their table? They don’t, right? No one does. How about the restaurant owners, it is their right to put a business like that because all they want is to earn money, but how about the food that is left or the leftovers, what do they do with the leftovers same as to those people who are eating more than they need and more than they are capable to consume, throw them, right? Such a big waste because no one will eat that. No rich people will eat leftovers. However observe those people who are in streets, under the bridge, those informal settlers, what do they eat? Salt, ‘tutong na kanin’, noodles, in short, food that is not healthy.
According to a report by Henrylito Tacio, “Among the six countries studied, the Philippines have the second-lowest obesity and overweight prevalence at 5.1 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively. But despite low prevalence rates, obesity has a strong impact in the Philippines due to the large number of obese persons in the country—18 million Filipinos are obese and overweight,” Last year(2016), obesity cost the Philippines between $500 million and $1 billion, or equivalent to between 4 percent and 8 percent of its health-care spending. “This makes the country the fourth-highest spender for obesity-related problems.” He also added that “these costs are due to a spike in incidence of related noncommunicable diseases NCDs such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke, as well as an increased rate of absenteeism from work arising from illness and poor health,” Obese is not all about people who do not have a healthy lifestyle but mostly it has something to do with the wrong habit of people who consume ‘too much of their needs and wants.’ Most Filipinos don’t have a self- discipline and that is a fact because if they have, this kind of problem will never be a problem at all.
Another example of gluttony is overindulgence, such as drug abuse or those who are using too much drug and alcohol. Those who are a drug addict and drinking alcohol uncontrollably. These are the perfect example of vices. Those that are bad for the health and at the same time bad for the relationship with other people. Simply because drug and alcohol are one of the evilest vices that this world has. If a person is ‘too much in using this vices’ their life other life’s can be in danger. It is only between who is going to die, try to hear some TV or Radio news mostly it is about the death of other people or a fight scene, where they are hurting each other and because of what the suspect is drunk. The suspect is using a drug, same as in the accidents. In short, if a person cannot control his/ her habits anymore it becomes evil not only in themselves but also in the eyes of God because of these vices.
Furthermore, not only these two are the example of gluttony but whatever ‘too much’ in every ones lives such as money, toys, clothes, material or physical, consuming any matter to the point of compromising your health or well-being, that instead of thinking about other people who doesn’t have anything like this instead they are still buying or eating too much that results in a waste are considered gluttony. Whatever is excess that you don’t need and you know that will only become a waste is a form of gluttony.
However, it is not late for everyone to realize their mistake, there is always a chance to change especially for the better as long as you keep the right values and virtues for it, and for the sins of gluttony, there is a solution for that provided that you are determined and you aimed to choose for the good instead of evil and that is Temperance.
When Pope Gregory defined the seven deadly sins that everyone should avoid, he also included a counter-balancing set of values that everyone should embrace and adapt. The Seven Heavenly Virtues is a classic interpretation of seven basic concepts that will lead your soul to glory. They are the three theological virtues which are love, hope, faith and the four cardinal virtues which are prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude that are combined. (TV Tropes)
Temperance is the first virtue that perfects man’s ability to act well with one’s self from within one’s self. (Doug Mcmanaman). One of the seven heavenly virtues is temperance. Temperance came from the Latin word “Temperantia” means being controlled in self. However, in Greek literature, temperance can be the meaning of sophrosyne, which can be translated as either moderation or temperance, but it takes on a variety of meanings, such as prudent, rational, self-controlled, purposeful, disciplined and modest (Luck, 1985). “Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures.” (CCC 1809). Temperance “ensures the will’s mastery over instincts, thus it is also called “self-control” and keeps desires within the limits of what is enough and provides balance means not too little and not too much in the use of created goods” (CCC 1809). Temperance is the virtue by which people usually resist the needs or desires that pull away from actions that they know by reason should be done. Moreover, temperance has been understood as the virtue of moderation in food, drink, and sex, that is why the greatest pleasures are to be found in the consumption of food and drink and in union of the sexes. And so temperance is appropriately about “pleasures of meat and drink and sexual pleasures.” Also, temperance rules people’s action with concern for good things that they find attractive and desirable. However, temperance is not only limited to food, drink, and sex, it can also be a desire in knowledge, play, wealth, and all ‘too much.’ All these are truly good things that can help in the desire of human beings but temperance only wants to tell everyone that they should take things in a moderate way, example, eat food in a way that is healthy without letting the attractiveness of the thing rule their actions example, eat until they don’t feel like eating any more or until a person’s tummy is full. (Tangen, 2015)
Additionally, in the case of temperance, the needs of this life establish the rule of reason that makes temperance a virtue. According to Thomas Aquinas,” Wherefore temperance takes the need of this life, as the rule of the pleasurable objects of which it makes use, and uses them only for as much as the need of this life requires.” Lastly, a person needs to learn that he/she should pamper desires in a reasonable way. Temperance is about growing in freedom. It’s about doing good, able to choose the right thing to do in the right way for the right reason and to act accordingly.
The best example for temperance is purity, abstinence, and sobriety. Temperance is the good or virtues while gluttony is the vice or evil. Purity is seeing the sexuality of others in light of their dignity as creatures of God, so basically it is the self- control regarding the sex. However, it applies to everyone whether they are single, married or in a relationship, they should have a control and respect in their partner as the way they respect God. Purity enables everyone to be faithfully connected with others, which makes everyone more attractive and more loveable. Next is abstinence. Abstinence is about enough quantity and quality of food and drinks that people consumed. When in gluttony it is a buffet, in temperance it should be the exact or the food that a person can only eat and finish. The “right balance” will differ depending on each person and each situation. Just always remember that while eating, think of other people, especially those who are in need, try to control the amount that is being spent in some fast food chains instead why not give it to the poor or maybe in the street children. However, abstinence should be on a right way, fasting is a good spiritual practice, but don’t go to extremes because it can put a person’s lives in danger if it’s too much. Lastly, sobriety it is the same as abstinence, but concerning alcoholic drinks. However, regarding sobriety, it is also about self- discipline, the self- control in drinking alcohol can protect, enjoy and bring a healthy lifestyle to everyone’s life. As Pope Francis says in praising sobriety, “Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer” (Laudato Si’, No. 223). Lastly, just always remember that as much as possible ‘too much’ is always bad, try to have self-control and be contented with what God gives.
For further discussion about gluttony and temperance, the researcher, connect this two with vice and virtues respectively. Virtue simply means a positive feeling that leads to the happiness of oneself and others. It can help every person regarding salvation and be closer to God. Likewise, vice is simply the absence of virtue, which does not lead to happiness and can consider as bad and evil. So, therefore, gluttony is a vice and temperance is a virtue that if the person who is glutton, change now and start to have a temperance in life.
The researcher, therefore, concludes that consuming ‘too much’ of everything cannot put only ones life’s in danger but also put the soul and heart away from God. She perfectly does one of the examples of gluttony. Most teenagers nowadays don’t know how to control everything in their life. No permanent decision, no self- control, and mostly doesn’t have a self- discipline. They always decide based on what they know is what good for them and what they enjoy. They are more on the positive side of the situation but do not consider on what consequence they might experience and may affect not only themselves but also other people. She remembers, the time that she always wants to eat in a buffet, to eat unlimited rice, to eat anywhere join her peers in eating even if she is not really hungry. She doesn’t know how to control spending of so much money in buying food, also in using gadgets, watching TV, do what she wants and spend the time without limitations as if there is no tomorrow. Sleeping late because of non- sense things and she doesn’t realize that she is abusing her body, she is placing her life in risk because of ‘too much,’ and that is what most teenagers do today. Try to look at the Church every Sunday, there are only few teenagers that are there, because where are they, they are at the bar or mall, in short everyone, no exception, is forgetting to spend time to be with God and pray before every meal because of Gluttony, each one of us for sure have their ‘too much in life’ but what the researcher concludes is , everyone has a choice but it is on their own hand to choose whether to be good or to be evil, to acquire the vice or the virtues, or to be glutton or have a temperance and take the learning’s in life to their hearts because at the end of the day, everyone will be going to suffer the consequence of how they live their life on earth and God will always do the rest, to be the guide, the protector and the saviour.
“The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the stomach of the wicked is in need.”- Proverbs 13:25: Hence, what her parents always told her is that be contented in life. Whatever you receive from God be happy and be thankful. No matter how small or big the blessing is, always show gratitude to God. Be happy that everyone has a food in their table even if it is not plenty, be pleased that everyone has a water to drink and be glad that everyone here on earth is living together with God, their family, and friends. Always remember folks that in life, whatever blessings that a person can receive, do not desire more. Just learn to be satisfied, do not ambition for ‘too much’ in life and if one receive ‘too much from Him learn to have a control because everyone doesn’t know when is the time will God get what a person has and try at least to help other people, because that is the people of God doing.
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. (2014). Retrieved from https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/the-almost- forgotten-always-misunderstood-all-consuming-sin-of-gluttony
Andrew, R. Precision Nutrition. Retrieved from https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-gluttony-1 and https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-gluttony-2
Bowers, J. (2015). Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins. United States of America: Desiring God. Pp. 73- 85.
TV Tropes. Retrieved from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Administrivia
Kreeft, P. (2001). Virtues and Vices. United States of America: Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. Pp. 1-8.
Loungo, M., Tucker, S., and Wilson, C. (2014) Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Lively Virtues. North Camden. Retrieved from http://hampsteadparishchurch.org.uk/pdf/seven_deadly_sins.pdf
Carmen. (2016). A short discussion about “gluttony”. The Refiner’s Fire Website. Retrieved from
Prose, F. (2006). Gluttony: The Seven Deadly Sins. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tacio, H. (2017). Obese Filipinos now ballooning. Business Mirror. Retrieved from https://businessmirror.com.ph/obese-filipinos-now-ballooning/
Tangen, K. (2015). The Need for Temperance: On Organizational Leadership and Temperance. Pp. 2-3
Other sources link only:
OSV Newsweekly. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ Story/TabId/2672/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/17726/Temperance-in-the-modern-world.aspx
The sin of Gluttony. Retrieved from https://www.logosapostolic.org/bible_study/ RP201Gluttony.htm
DeMichele, T. (2016). Vices and Virtues Explained. Retrieved from http://factmyth.com/vices-and-virtues-explained/
Mcmanaman, D. The Virtue of Temperance. Retrieved from https://www.catholiceducation.org/ en/education/catholic-contributions/the-virtue-of-temperance.html
Sandowich, M. (2016). Is Eating Too Much A Sin? 7 Bible Verses on Overeating. Retrieved from https://reformedhealth.net/is-eating-to-much-a-sin-7-bible-verses-on-overeating/
The Virtue of Temperance. (2015). http://www.southmont.net/~southmon/images/PDFs/ SherpaFathersTalks2015_16/SherpaFathers3bTemperance.pdf