As to the fourth vice, which is spiritual gluttony, there is much to say; for there is scarce one of these beginners who, however well he may proceed, falls not into somewhat of the many imperfections this vice gives rise to, by reason of the relish he finds, at first, in spiritual exercises. For many of these, spoilt by the favor and relish they find in such exercises, try rather to give pleasure to the spiritual palate than to acquire true purity and devotion, which is what God looks at and accepts during the entire spiritual journey.1

This makes sense. There is a connection between genuine spiritual disciplines and devotion to God. If one’s spirituality is characterized by experiences but results in lack of devotion and commitment to God, then to pursue such spirituality for the experiences is spiritual gluttony.


1. St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul, trans. Gabriela Cunninghame Graham (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2005), 19. Italics mine. [Back]