Gluttony – A Deadly Thought Related to Appetite

Γαστριμαργία, Gluttony is one of the three thoughts related to appetite, lust and avarice being the other two.

“Our appetite for food, and for that matter drink, sexual gratification, material goods are not easy to control because the gratifications of the appetite is so pleasurable. We have to make an effort to restrain them and many of us find it hard to stop eating good food, even if we feel stuffed and know we’re going to regret it later. More than one person has regretted their actions when under the influence of drink or the grip of lust. Few of us know when to say “enough” when it comes to buying things.” Prof. Allen

Acting on the impulses of gluttony, we damage our bodies, we spend money that could have use in generosity to others. Considering consumption, either in excess or limitation consumes our time. “To limit oneself to necessity, to necessities has the very great value of being able to help others in need.” Prof. Allen

Limiting oneself below the level of necessity harms to the body. Further while dieting, our time is preoccupied in thinking about the food. If you have been afflicted with Bulimia or Anorexia directly, or through a loved one, you know how much time can be spent thinking about food or one’s weight.

Prof. Diogenes Allen – Gluttony


This post is part of a set of posts on the “Eight Deadly Thoughts,” by Evagrius Ponticus (c 346-399), a Desert Father. Prof. Allen discusses how these eight thoughts clog our minds, making it difficult to focus on and imitate the things of God. These thoughts are not sin in themselves. The problems arise when we dwell on, indulge, or act on these thoughts.

For practical help, Prof. Allen recommended the Lectio Divina and following books:

The God of Thinness: Gluttony and Other Weighty Matters – Mary Louise Bringle – “Each year Americans spend millions of dollars on diet foods and weight-loss programs. Bringle offers a spiritual solution to this widely misinterpreted “cult of thinness”, and provides guidance for those who seek to understand the dynamics of food addiction.” From <>

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins: Learning from the Psychology of Ancient Monks Paperback by Dennis Okholm  This volume unpacks the psychological insights found in the writings of three early monks–Evagrius Ponticus (fourth century), John Cassian (fifth century), and Gregory the Great (sixth century)–to help us appreciate the relevance of these monastic writers and apply their wisdom to our own spiritual and psychological well-being. From <> Dr Allen mentioned the Title “Gluttony: Thought for Food.” I think this was changed from manuscript to “Dangerous Passions”