Posted by: cmittermeier | June 21, 2015

Is the glutton ready to repent?

Two weeks ago I decided I would need frequent confession if I were to beat gluttony, and here I am, two weeks later realizing how right C.S. Lewis was when he described the scene in The Great Divorce of a man battling lust.  We all know St. Augustine’s quote, “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.” and in his book Lewis explodes that quote into a magnificently crafted moment that anyone who has truly took up a battle knows all too well.  Am I truly ready to repent?  Turn my life in another direction?

There are thorns in life that we pick up along the way which can be plucked from us never to return, but there are also those that will regrown if we do not embrace the grace around us continually.  As St. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, 12:7-10, some will never leave.  I am not God, but, at present gluttony is one thorn that needs constant grace and quite frankly, that is hard to face.  I want to be able to say a novena and be done with it.  Confess and gone.  Having to rely on the daily effort of prayer, penance, relying on what feels like thimblefuls of grace instead of just one massive magical change… how easy it is to see the wormy side of my nature.

I am fighting against what is best for me, against what I know I truly want.  I am, sadly, refusing the graces laid before me.  Once again, I am back to being Israel, wrestling God.  The peace of picking up that cross beckons, but I rebel.  It is not a beautiful rose that beckons.  It is a cross.  Not a stylized, glorious cross studded with rubies and diamonds, but a splintery cross of rough, freshly hewn wood. I want to throw it back at Him, shouting “this is not the best you can do!”

“But it is the best for you.”

Beating gluttony will not be done in the moments where I am perfectly satiated emotionally, physically, spiritually and have no desire to pick up another fork of food.  It will be beaten by daily dying to self, by letting God be glorified in my weakness and letting his strength work through me.

Beating gluttony will not be done in the days where I can’t wait to move my body, but in winning the battle to cooperate with my Angel as he whispers, “I know you don’t want to, just do it.” and following him out the door and down the block when I really hate the idea.

In short, I have to cooperate not in the easy moments, but the splintery ones.  Temptations will not be taken from me, I have to learn to let him perfect my weakness with his glory.  Like any athlete, I have to welcome the hard moments where my coach moves me to the next step.

Saying yes and accepting a life with temptation is hard for me, but, that is what repentance means for me right now. I have to stop expecting them to go away.  He won’t give me one the two of us working together can’t face, that is what grace is all about. In this moment, I have found that place to hold the cross and carry it where the splinters are not too painful and so I pick up that cross.

This post will not be the last moment of accepting the fight.  Expect to read it over, and over, and over again.  I will thrown down that cross, I will yell at my God, beg him, cry, fight him till that cross is perfectly sanded and adjusted just right upon my shoulder. I will learn how to walk when I don’t feel like it.  I will learn how to say no when the food tastes so good, when emotionally I so want to overeat and numb whatever pain I desperately want to avoid. Why do I know this?  Because this glutton is ready to repent, and that means God will continue to train me – having me face these moments again and again and again, till that cross sits perfectly on my shoulder and I follow His steps.

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Responses

  1. It’s a day-to-day… emotional, physical, mental -and- spiritual battle for me with food. I so want to be one of those people who don’t think about it, who are not struggling to reduce or maintain a BODY frame in perfect proportion, but sadly this is my burden and I alone must face the temptation and overcome them one day @ a time. Brïdgêtté


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