I facilitate a small group conversation on David K. Naugle’s fine book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness. Tonight we’re reflecting on the third chapter, “Disordered Lives: Seven (and Even More) Ways to Die.” One question will guide us:
Identify the seven deadly sins and explain how each is an expression of disordered love. How might you use this list of chief sins in a practical way to evaluate the inclinations of your heart and the tendencies of your behavior?
To aid our digestion of ideas, I’m preparing a dish of antipasti that includes this recipe from Bobby Flay: Black Pepper-Basil Farmer’s Cheese Bruschetta with Tomato. Watch the video if you’re a visual learner. Speaking of Chef Flay, not too long I cooked up this entree for my family: Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Parsley-Mint Sauce. They salivated, and so will you.
Of course it would be reasonable for you to conclude that I’m vulnerable to the deadly sin of gluttony, not so much the gluttony of excess – I’m lean and mean – but rather the gluttony of delicacy, as defined by Naugle:
We can think too much and be too concerned about food and drink, and look forward to our meals with too much anticipation – what shall we eat, and when, and where, and how? Based on a list from Thomas Aquinas, we can commit this more refined version of gluttony by eating too early and often, too eagerly and greedily, too expensively and elegantly, and too fastidiously and fussily. In a Screwtape letter, C.S. Lewis asks, “But what do quantities matter provided we can use a human belly and palate to produce querulousness, impatience, uncharitableness, and self-concern?” Gluttonies of excess or delicacy seem especially insidious in a world where there is so much need and thousands die daily from malnutrition (p. 75).
Lord, have mercy upon this fussy foodie!