Joy in the delights of food directly engenders gluttony and drunkenness, anger, discord, and lack of charity toward one’s neighbor and the poor, as toward Lazarus on the part of the rich man who ate sumptuously each day [Lk 16:19-31].
Accordingly, there arise bodily disorders, infirmities, and impure movements from increasing lustful incentives.
A decided spiritual torpor is directly engendered and the desire for spiritual things is so spoiled that one finds no satisfaction in them and is unable to discuss or take part in them.
Distraction of the other senses and of the heart and discontent over many things also arise from this joy.
Saint John of the Cross
The Ascent of Mount Carmel: Book III, Chap. 25, no. 5
John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This early 17th c. oil on panel painting by an unnamed Flemish artist features the characters in Jesus’ parable of Dives and Lazarus [Lk 16:19-31]. We see the rich man Dives, “dressed in purple and fine linen,” barely turning away from his “sumptuous” banquet to notice the “poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores.” Moreover, the artist takes great care to show us Dives’ hounds hovering over poor Lazarus, just to “lick his sores.” This artwork is currently in storage in the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, England (Some rights reserved).
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