Seven Capital Sins – Gluttony & Sloth, pt.1

This week we are looking at the sins of Gluttony and Sloth. Gluttony is the inordinate indulgence in food or drink. Just as lust pursues sex only for its pleasure, so gluttony pursues food and drink only for its own pleasure. According to Aquinas, gluttony has five primary daughter sins: 1) sumptuously (eating food that is too luxurious or costly), 2) daintily (eating food that is too elaborately prepared), 3) quantity (eating too much food), 4) hastily (eating too soon or at an inappropriate time), and 5) greedily (eating too eagerly). In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) the primary characteristic of the two main characters is that the rich man “feasted sumptuously every day” while Lazarus merely “desired to be fed from what fell from the rich man’s table.” And, as we know, the story ends with Lazarus in paradise and the rich man in hell.  Deuteronomy 21:20 provides that a gluttonous and drunk son should be stoned to death, and it is Ezekiel who says that the guilt of Sodom (which God destroyed by fire from heaven) was “pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease” Ezekiel 16:49.  The sin of gluttony is the misdirection of the desire from its true aim, for as Jesus teaches, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life . . . . For unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6: 27, 52-53.

The sin of Sloth is the neglect of our duties.  The sin of sloth can be the most abhorrent of all the sins. For all other sins have love within them and result either from a bent and misdirected love towards ourselves (pride, anger, envy) or an inordinate love of other things (avarice, gluttony, and lust) but sloth is apathy and the absence of love entirely.  Aquinas writes that sloth is a capital sin because it ultimately is the despair and neglect of our love of God which is the first and greatest commandment.  Jesus addresses sloth in the Parables of the Ten Bridesmaids and the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25. In the first parable, five of the bridesmaids neglect to take sufficient oil with them to refill their lamps while awaiting the bridegroom. When their lamps run out of oil, they go away to get more, the bridegroom arrives in their absence, and they are shut-out of the wedding feast. In the Parable of the Talents, the servant who is given one talent, buries it. When the master returns he condemns his “wicked and slothful” servant, takes away the talent, and casts him into the outer darkness. Sloth has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven for as Jesus says, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Luke 10:2.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is BBQ. Discussion begins around 6:45. Please bring a friend.

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Proverbs 23:20-21

The desire of the slothful man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long.

Proverbs 21:25-26a.

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