Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 27 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Why Catholics should pay attention to what they eat

Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock

Aleteia - published on 09/24/20

We can purchase and consume food in a conscientious way, true to our beliefs and concern for others.

For a Catholic who strives for unity of life, balanced care of the body is neither a whim nor a form of vanity, but an integral part of respect for oneself and one’s neighbor as temples of the Holy Spirit.

The dignity of the body in the Catholic worldview

Unlike some other currents of spirituality, we do not believe that the spirit is “attached” to the body, as if this were just a temporary container. Instead, we believe that we are a unity of body and spirit, to the point that resurrection is an essential pillar of our faith. Since the spiritual soul does not die, and therefore does not need to be resurrected, resurrection necessarily refers to the body.

It’s clear that, in time and space, the body is subject to the limitations of any organic matter, including deterioration and biological death. When we are resurrected for eternity, we will somehow regain our bodily form, but in an incorruptible way. A physical existence outside of this world is certainly one of the great paradoxes and mysteries of the Catholic faith, but according to Christian philosophy, the fact that we will conserve our own bodies in some glorious way derives precisely from our inseparable individual unity.

For a Catholic, the body partakes in the intrinsic dignity of the human person as a whole, and deserves loving and conscious care. This should not be confused with either the excesses of the cult of the body or with the negligence of its contempt. It is a question of balance and common sense.


Children eating Healthy

Read more:
Want a simple formula for healthy eating? Ask a nutritionist’s kids!

Virtues and vices related to our view of the body

In this context, we can understand even more clearly the Christian virtues connected to respect for the body—both our own and those of others.

We all know the importance to a Christian of virtues such as purity and modesty. We understand the strength of Christian beliefs regarding the fact that human life must be protected with responsibility and love from conception to natural death. This same logic of respect for the body also applies to proper nutrition, which is one of the most obvious requirements of care the body presents. What we eat and drink has a significant impact on the way we value the treasure of life received from God, even in this transient phase of existence in the material world.

Beyond this, the way we feed ourselves has important implications that go far beyond ourselves as individuals. Our carelessness in the way we produce, consume, and discard food may contribute to the hunger that afflicts many people. Negative and irresponsible habits in the way we structure the processes of food production and distribution can exclude millions of people from access not only to healthy food, but also to practically any form of nutrition at all.

Faced with these premises and consequences, it should be clear why we have a duty to be thoughtful about our food choices and their implications, both for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters who might suffer the consequences of our choices. When thinking about what to eat, let’s keep in mind both our physical health and the health and needs of others. This means purchasing and eating food and drink in a way that is truly Catholic.


Holding Strawberries

Read more:
Church and good nutrition: Why do they have to be at odds?

Tags:
HealthHealth and Wellness
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
5
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
6
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
7
BABCIA Z WNUKAMI
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.