How Many Calories In Toad?

In the Catholic blogosphere there's been some discussion in the past week or so of new year's resolutions and particularly --in light of nearly everyone's intention to lose weight and exercise more-- what constitutes gluttony and culpable destruction of one's health and what rational acceptance of the fact that normal healthy people vary in natural size and shape.

Sr. Mary Margaret reminds us what the saints have had to say on the topic. Particularly I appreciate her reminder from St. Thomas that gluttony is more than overeating. In fact, it can be much less than overeating.
Thomas Aquinas, the expert (in theology), listed six ways to commit gluttony:
  • Praepropere - eating too soon.
  • Laute - eating too expensively.
  • Nimis - eating too much.
  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly.
  • Studiose - eating too daintily.
  • Forente - eating wildly.
    She rightly points out everyone you know may be a glutton:
    I think if you get a Catholic family of ten around a table for supper on any given day, you probably hit all six before the table is cleared. The six year old grabs for the bread before anyone else has sat down, the fifteen year old has his own bottle of orangina, the eight year old is having a contest with the seven year old to see who can eat the most, Dad is shoveling in the meatloaf, the fourteen year old girl is picking at her potatoes because she read about carbs causing weight gain and the baby is flinging peas.

    Don't hate me for suspecting that a lot of our current diet concerns veer from commonsense health and nutrition advice into just vice pretty quickly. Eat as you wish, even proselytize and educate others in the appropriate forum, but when you can't sit at table with people without lecturing them on how nothing they're eating or serving is fit for consumption, you're the one with the problem, and it might go beyond bad manners.

    Screwtape makes a similar point which I shan't bother to look up just now, but it has to do with the old lady who "doesn't want to be a bother," she'll just have tea and toast, and fancies she's leading the simple life --even though she's putting her hostess to extra effort and the truly simple thing to do would be to make due with what's put in front of her without complaint.

    The point is, gluttony is thinking about food all the time, living for it, being consumed by it, which one can do equally as gourmand or gourmet, as indiscriminate inhaler of corn dogs with pizza chasers or finicky consumer who can't share a meal with friends even at Christmastime since going all raw and organic last year.

    According to this source of dubious authority, the punishment in hell for gluttony is being force-fed rats and toads. Since we seem to find no middle ground between the macrobiotic, organic, vegan, locally grown, cruelty-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, raw, all my food is first blessed by Native American shaman, self-righteotarian diet and Oreos On Demand, I imagine I'll be seeing all of you in eternity at the rodent and amphibian buffet. (No MSG!)

    Sister Mary Martha has a commonsense approach made the more pleasing by being humorous. You'll like her follow-up on the incredible non-lightness of Thomas Aquinas' being, too.