There was a study that made the rounds the other day: people are said to become more virtuous with their eating habits after Christmas, in line with their New Year's resolutions to better dietary intake, but this turned out not to be true. What was found, instead, was that people don't change their shopping habits again until March or April, or so. They keep on buying rich foods until well after Christmas.
I remarked about such facts to my husband, on a quick shopping stop a couple of days ago. He went to pick up some German wieners, to feed to some guests who had been invited for a soup lunch. While he was at it, he also bought some rings of ham sausage and beer-wurst for sandwiches. At the same time, I was perusing the left over Christmas goodies. Brandy filled chocolates in large containers available for $1.50.
So much for turning over a new leaf in January.
It makes me contemplate our appetites in other areas. Once we have become accustomed to stronger and more titillating fare, we have a hard time going back to more subtle or disciplined pleasures. It is in this way, that the devil abuses every good thing.
A generous wit and intelligence can easily turn into hurtful and useless excess. Strong meat can lead you to despise fish and cottage cheese and vegetables. The wine has to get ever stronger and more frequent. What is wrong with us? Why can we not be content but have to crave ever more?
Why do the best have to become so proud and rude? Why do those with training in aesthetic beauties become so indolent and selfish? Why do they kill all things lovely in a simple way, with a heavy hand? Why do we do things like that? Why do we stop appreciating?
Why do we stop giving thanks? Why do we not stop while we are ahead? Why do we run headlong into more indulgences?
Why did Eve have to go for the apple, when she had the whole garden?
Why did Esau sell his inheritance for a bowl of pottage.
Why did Cain kill his brother for pure jealousy.
Why did David kill his conscience and supplant his integrity as a ruler and a man of God, for the love of Bathsheba?
It is endless. We ever want more and we want what our neighbor has.
The Ten Commandments deal with this greed and covetousness. We need to remember.
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