How Prevalent Is the Sin of Gluttony?

Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, Antonio from Bakersfield called to get Patrick’s thoughts on the sin of gluttony, its prevalence, and how it affects our bodies and souls, especially considering that it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

“My question is about the sin of gluttony…I’ve heard other shows on Catholic radio mention that priests say that the sin they hear the most in the confessional is the sin of pornography, or being addicted to pornography, or something related to that.

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“But if you pay attention to the statistics – and you were talking about that drug the other day for losing weight – they say that more than half the people in our country are obese or overweight. So, I’m thinking about the sin of gluttony and [wondering if] priests then say that it’s a sin they hear a lot?

“We only have one body to take care of for the short life that we’re here on earth for. And if we die of diabetes or something that was related to us overeating, what could be the consequences, like you say, in our ‘exit interview’?”

Antonio made it clear that he wasn’t trying to be mean about others’ struggles or health issues, but that we should be taking better care of our bodies, and maybe we could start by showing more restraint.

Patrick agreed, saying gluttonous behavior is far more prevalent than people talk about. However, that may not be entirely intentional. In fact, he theorized, many people probably don’t even realize that they are committing the sin of gluttony.

“I think most people are not even aware of gluttony as a sin,” said Patrick. “When was the last time you heard a sermon at church about gluttony? Probably never.” He said he couldn’t think of a time when he’d ever heard one either. Additionally, there is only one place in the Catechism of the Catholic Church where gluttony is even mentioned (#1866).

Orson Welles, who had become morbidly obese by the end of his life, said, “Gluttony is not a secret vice.” While it’s not a secret vice, it may be a secret that it’s a vice! A subspecies of the sin of intemperance, gluttony likely is quite prevalent because very few people get reminders about it or have consciously struggled against it.

Nonetheless, Patrick added, he still doesn’t think gluttony is more common than pornography, and here’s why: Patrick, who has spoken at countless events in almost every state in the country, has often found himself in casual conversation with priests involved in his speaking engagements. And for his own edification, he has asked countless priests what the most common sin they hear in the confessional is. And every single time, without exception, he says the most common sin they hear is the twin sin of pornography and masturbation.

But, regardless of whether gluttony or pornography is more common, Patrick agreed that both are problems.

“If you’re responsible for your own early demise because you didn’t eat properly or you ate or drank too much, yeah, that will definitely come up in your exit interview.”

Tune in to The Patrick Madrid Show weekdays 8am – 11am CT

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.