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?
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.