Tag Archives: Gluttony

St. Isaac the Syrian: O glutton, bent on the worship of your own belly . . .

“O glutton, bent on the worship of your own belly! It is better for you to cast a live coal into your stomach than the fried foods of rulers and princes.”

+ St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies, Homily 17

St. John Damascene: These eight passions should be destroyed as follows . . .

Icon of St. John of Damascus“These eight passions should be destroyed as follows: gluttony by self-control; unchastity by desire for God and longing for the blessings held in store; avarice by compassion for the poor; anger by goodwill and love for all men; worldly dejection by spiritual joy; listlessness by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God; self-esteem by doing good in secret and by praying constantly with a contrite heart; and pride by not judging or despising anyone in the manner of the boastful Pharisee (cf. Luke 18 : 11–12), and by considering oneself the least of all men. When the intellect has been freed in this way from the passions we have described and been raised up to God, it will henceforth live the life of blessedness, receiving the pledge of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 1 : 22). And when it departs this life, dispassionate and full of true knowledge, it will stand before the light of the Holy Trinity and with the divine angels will shine in glory through all eternity.”

+ St. John Damascene, “On the Virtues and the Vices” from The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. Seraphim of Sarov: One should not think about the doings of God when . . .

St. Seraphim of Sarov“One should not think about the doings of God when one’s stomach is full; on a full stomach there can be no vision of the Divine mysteries.”

+ St. Seraphim of Sarov, “The Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks”, printed in Little Russian Philokalia: St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Anthony of Optina: Of course, it would be easier to get to paradise with a full stomach . . .

Lying in a Soft Bed“Of course, it would be easier to get to paradise with a full stomach, all snuggled up in a soft feather-bed, but what is required is to carry one’s cross along the way, for the kingdom of God is not attained by enduring one or two troubles, but many!”

+ St. Anthony of Optina

St. John of Kronstadt: How will it be with us in the future life . . .

Icon of St. John of Kronstadt“How will it be with us in the future life, when everything that has gratified us in this world: riches, honors, food and drink, dress, beautifully furnished dwellings, and all attractive objects—how will it be, I say, when all these things leave us—when they will all seem to us a dream, and when works of faith and virtue, of abstinence, purity, meekness, humility, mercy, patience, obedience, and others will be required of us?”

— St. John of Kronstadt

St. Nilus: Why do demons wish to excite us . . .

Icon of St. Nilus“Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.”

— St. Nilus of Sinai

St. Athanasius: . . . To fast is to banquet with angels.

Icon of St. Athanasius the Great“Devils take great delight in fullness, and drunkenness and bodily comfort. Fasting possesses great power and it works glorious things. To fast is to banquet with angels.”

+ St. Athanasius the Great