In striving for temperance in eating and drinking, we have Our Lord's example of penance, sobriety, abstinence and mortification to inspire us; likewise the example of the Saints, who often practiced heroic abstinence, by which they brought their appetites into subjection, preserved liberty of soul and built up spiritual strength, vigor and courage.
Fasting or mortification and self-denial in the matter of food is commanded at certain times by the Church. Moderate or regulated fasting has a beneficial effect even on the health and strength of the body. It makes the mind alert and helps to restrain the lower passions. The practice of the other virtues is made easier, and it keeps us from habitual immortification to which we incline.
The pleasure in eating and drinking is not an end in itself, but a means to preserve life. The guiding principle in avoiding gluttony is the ancient rule of "eating to live"-not "living to eat." St. Paul exhorts us, "Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31).