Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bathe Seven Times--on Gluttony and Fortitude

I'm continuing to read an interesting book--Bathe Seven Times by Mother Nadine.  I have gotten to the chapter on gluttony, a sin after my own heart  ;) and am surprised at some of what it contains.

Mother Nadine says that the spiritual gift of Fortitude is what is necessary to combat gluttony.  "Fortitude," she says, "is the gift of courage to 'hang in there' no matter what" and "will give you the strength for mortification, for self-denial" and "for fasting."

I never thought of the virtue of courage as one  that combats the difficulty with fasting and self-control. That feels very validating to me.  And hopeful because God supplies what we lack if we ask Him.

Another surprise in this chapter was her assertion that fear of the cross is what keeps us in gluttony.  Wow. Fear of the cross--in other words, fear of losing our coping mechanism in this case--keeps us from gaining fortitude

How do we get fortitude? 

Let go. 

Stop and think about that.

A spiritual virtue that denotes inner strength is received by letting go.  I love how counterintuitive God is! Letting go is so difficult, the book says, because there is a resulting emptiness unless we are in prayer.

Letting go of our earthly need to control all outcomes in our lives, and having the inner strength from the Holy Spirit to resist the need to feed ourselves with food that will not last, will give us the "peace that passes all understanding" if we let God feed us through prayer.

Jesus told the woman at the well that "whoever drinks the water I will give him will never thirst." (John 4: 14)  I think this stands for anything we let get in the way of our relationship with God.  If we eat, drink, watch, or consume anything that will not last in order to feed ourselves, we risk crossing the line into gluttony.

Jesus has promised that by following His Way, we will never thirst again.  We will be satisfied to the depths of our souls and will no longer need these outward things that are all around us.  We will have Him.


TACParent said...

This is a challenge, indeed. May you find the strength and comfort as guided by this author.

Dymphna said...


LC said...

Good word for me right now. I lost my job today.

Dymphna said...

((((hugs)))) I certainly will pray!!

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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