Friday, March 09, 2007

"And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread" (Matt 4:3)

Satan used gluttony to tempt Jesus for he was very succesful this way many times before begining with our first parents. Keeping this in mind we should do our best to resist any tendency to overeating. From this vice sprouts five others like the love of carnal pleasure, idle talk, impurity, imprudent speech and spiritual idleness. One of the modern doctors once said that more people get sick from eating too much than from excessive drinking. Similar warning we can find in the Holy Scriptures: " For in many meats there will be sickness, and greediness will turn to choler" (Ecclesiasticus 37, 33). Moreover Our Lord tells us: "Not in bread alone doth man live" (Matt 4:4), and again through the Apostle: "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink" (Rom 14:17). Our Lord was born and lived in poverty, he spent forty days and nights in the wilderness fasting, during His Passion He was given vinegar and gall to satisfy excruciating thirst. We are supposed to be His friends and followers, but we love so much to satisfy our palates. When we are tempted to indulge we should remember the words of St Paul: "Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies" (2 Cor 4:10). How much good we could do to ourselves and to others by simple self-denial. Carnal pleasures are too low to attract so much attention. St Gregory Nizzanean gives us a clue about the matter saying that for the meal we should have chastity, for bread we should have wisdom, for food we should have justice, for drink we should have defeated passions, and during free time we should think about our good deeds.