If you wish to find out whether you are addicted to the passion of gluttony (or any other, for that matter), you can find it out in the following manner. If food (or anything else) captures your thought so that you cannot resist it, you are a glutton. If you are not possessed by it and partake freely of all kinds of food to the extent your body requires it, you are not a glutton…passionate attachment to anything should always be avoided, for it does harm to the soul.
Perhaps you have been ensnared by a sinful habit that you will not abandon, and your guilt is so overwhelming you are ashamed to approach Christ. Whatever the reason for your broken intimacy with God, there is good news. Jesus waits to embrace you now in the arms of unconditional, divine love.
Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Saints and martyrs are famous for testifying to the truth about Jesus Christ while their enemies set them on fire, but each day ordinary Christians experience small martyrdoms when they blow the whistle on a dangerous product, or lose a friend they had to confront, or stand up in a small group and, for the first time in their lives, say to a group of strangers,”My name is Maxine, and I am an alcoholic.”
Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear. But so do several other things – ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.
Fasting can be a painful admission that I am not free, that my life is enslaved, obsessed or addicted to external things such as food, drink, codependent relationships, sex, television, privacy and the like.
If you want to do something good, do it; and if you cannot do it, then resolve to do it, and you will have achieved the resolution even if you do not fulfill the action itself. Thus a habit, whether good or bad, can gradually and spontaneously be overcome. If this were not the case, no criminals would ever be saved, whereas in fact not only have they been saved, but many have become conspicuous for their excellence. Think what a great gulf separates the criminal from the saint; yet resolution finally overcame habit.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
I vividly remember how I had, at one time, become totally dependent on the affection and friendship of one person. This dependency threw me into a pit of great anguish and brought me to the verge of a very self-destructive depression. But from the moment I was helped to experience my interpersonal addiction as an expression of a need for total surrender to a living God who would fulfill the deepest desires of my heart, I started to live my dependency in a radically new way. Instead of living it in shame and embarrassment, I was able to live it as an urgent invitation to claim God’s unconditional love for myself, a love I can depend on without any fear.