Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“An elder prescribes the following rule of conduct for the monastic table: “When you sit to eat, brother, do not be overcome by the demon of gluttony, which compels you to eat in a disorderly way and in haste and to desire to taste many kinds of food together. Learn to eat modestly and in an orderly way and maintain a measure of restraint.”

Reading these words, I remembered an occasion when my youngest brother ordered a pepperoni pizza.  It was some thirty or thirty-five inches in diameter. Huge. I asked for a slice and he said no because he was going to eat the entire thing as his dinner. Made me feel kind of queasy to think of him eating that much all in one meal.

Reading these words I remember when all one could get at MacDonald’s was is now their dollar burger and their value sized bag of fries.  I don’t know when they started serving up half a pound of beef or fries, sodas that are a half a gallon, but it happened.

Reading these words I think of what it is to eat in a restaurant in the USA and be served three times as much food as I could eat.  Kinda makes me queasy when it gets put in front of me, especially if I have also just had a salad and some bread.

Gluttony, at least in the USA, is encouraged so people can make billions of dollars. And at the same time, we have a massive diet industry so people can make billions of dollars.

This approach is infinitely preferable to me.  “Learn to eat modestly and in an orderly way and maintain a measure of restraint.”

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