Posted by: oldbelieving | March 3, 2009

St. Dorotheos of Gaza on the Holy Lenten Fast

There are two kinds of gluttony. There is the kind which concerns taste: a man does not want to eat a lot but he wants it to be appetizing. It follows that such a person eats the food that pleases him and is defeated by the pleasure of it. He keeps the food in his mouth, rolling it round and round, and has not the heart to swallow it because he enjoys the taste. This is called fastidiousness. Another man is concerned about satisfying himself. He doesn’t ask for fancy food nor does he care especially about whether the taste is nice or not, he only wants to eat and fill his stomach. This is gluttony. I will tell you how it gets this name: margainein means to rage furiously, to be mad; according to the profane, margos is the name given to the man who rages furiously or is mad. When this diseases or mania for packing his belly full of food comes upon a man, therefore, it is called gastromargia, the madness of the stomach, whereas lairmargia is the madness of the palate. There must be guarded against and abandoned seriously by the man who desires to be cleansed of his sins. They accord not with the needs of the body, but with his vicious inclinations, and if they are tolerated, they lead a man into sin. As is the case with legitimate marital union and fornication, the practice is the same but the object is different. In the one case, there is copulation in order to raise a family, in the other, to satisfy a desire for pleasure. The same is true with feeding: in one case it is a question of the body’s needs and in the other of eating for pleasure. The intention is what makes it a sin. A man eats to satisfy a need when he lays down how much he will take each day and, if what he has determined on overloads him, takes a little less, or if he is not overloaded and his body is weakened, adds a little. And so he estimates exactly his need, and he bases his conclusion not on pleasure but on preserving the strength of his body. And what he takes he receives with prayer, deeming himself unworthy of that comfort and he is not on the look out to see if others, as is likely, because of special need or necessity are given special attention, lets he himself hankers for that comfort or think it a trivial thing for the soul to be at rest.

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Responses

  1. Im really grateful for page especialy during this period of great lent


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