Friday, March 13, 2009

Shipwrecked on Pastries

I didn't want to go to bed just yet tonight, and wanted another beer, so I decided to grab a good book, sit in a comfortable chair and pick up some writing by Clement of Alexandria, who I haven't had the pleasure of reading for quite some time. I decided to thumb through his book, Christ the Educator, and stumbled on a passage that I found rather humorous.

There is no limit to the gluttony that these men practise (sic). Truly, in ever inventing a multitude of new sweets and ever seeking recipes of every description, they are shipwrecked on pastries and honey-cakes and desserts.

To me, a man of this sort seems nothing more than one great mouth. 'Be not desirous,' Scripture says, 'of the meats of the rich. For these belong to a false and shameful life.' These men hug their delicacies to themselves, yet after a while they must yield them to the privy. As for us, who seek a heavenly food, we must restrain the belly and keep it under the control of heaven, and even more that which is made for the belly which 'God will destroy,' as the Apostle says, intending, no doubt, to curse gluttonous desires. 'Food is for the belly,' and the life of the body, belonging completely to this world and made for corruption, depends upon it.

What would dear Clement think of my Willy Wonka ways, I wonder? I'll go with the words of the Apostle Paul on this one: As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. ...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

Whew! I still see chocolates in my future. And some of them will be yielded to the privy.

(Well, I suppose all of them will.)

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