Gluttony is defined by www.catholicreference.net as an “inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink.” Gluttony is eating or drinking too much. Eating too much can lead to obesity, heart attacks, and obesity. Excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism. Even if the drinker is not an alcoholic, the excess drink can still lead to other sins because of loss of reason from intoxication.
Gluttony can be sinful in two ways. First, our bodies are a gift from God and we should take care of them. To willingly eat or drink too much can be a failure to value the gift God has given us. Secondly, gluttony can be a sin because, if we are eating or drinking more than we need, then someone else may not be able to get enough food and drink. In effect, our over-consumption can be “stealing” from those in need (You may wish to check out http://www.renewaloffaith.org/sj/sjwater.htm as it relates to our use of water and other people).
It is not just food and water that we may need to limit our use of. In our American culture we are becoming experts at “over-consumption”, meaning we use more than we need of everything. We need to be mindful to not use more than we need. Our natural resources are limited and many are not renewable. Other people in the world today may need those same resources. Likewise, people who live 1,000 years from now will need them too.
Global Solidarity is a term used today to symbolism our connectedness with other people down the street, on the other side of the world, and those yet to be born. We are free to use what we need but not all we want. May our Lenten disciple of fasting help us to live, not just in Lent but always, in solidarity with our neighbors, recognizing their needs.