Saturday, June 16, 2012

Misuse of Creation

Christoro de Predis (ff 1486)
Codice Varia 124; The Torments of Hell for the Gluttinous, the Lazy and the Lotus Eaters
c. 1480
Illustrated manuscript
Biblioteca Reale, Turin

Jacob de Backer (c 1540- c. 1600)
Gluttony: part of the series on the Seven Deadly Sins
Oil on canvas
1.180 m.  x  1.560 m.
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

Nicolas Poussin 
1594 - 1665
Detail of The Nurture of Bacchus
about 1628
Oil on canvas
80.9 x 97.7 cm
The National Gallery, London

Gluttony is one of the seven Deadly Sins not often talked about these days

People seem to prefer to talk about sex and lust

St Thomas Aquinas (whose girth appears to suggest an excessive predeliction for pickled herring) said that the sin could be committed by consuming food or drink
"Prae-propere, laute, nimis, ardenter, studiose" ("too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily")
If he were writing today,  he would probably add drugs.

Pope Saint Gregory the Great said (Moral. xxx, 18) that 
'unless we first tame the enemy dwelling within us, namely our gluttonous appetite, we have not even stood up to engage in the spiritual combat.' 

"For we did not get eyes to serve our evil desires, and the tongue for speaking evil, and ears to listen to evil speech, and the throat to commit gluttony, and the belly to be gluttony's ally, and the genitals for unchaste excesses, and hands for violent deeds, and the feet for idling around; or was the soul placed in the body to become a factory of snares, and fraud, and injustice ? 
I do not think so ; for if God, who demands innocence, hates everything like evildoing - if He completely hates such plotting of evil, it is clear beyond a doubt, that, of all things He created , He has made none to lead to deeds which He condemns, even though these same deeds may be performed by things He made; for, in fact, the one ground of condemnation consists of the creature’s misuse of creation"