. . .fasting gives me singularly happy afternoons.
In the afternoon the digestion of the meal deprives me of the incomparable lightness which characterizes the fast days.
When I walk in the forest just before the meal, while reciting the scriptural phrase that I "meditate" for that day, spiritual joy comes over me as if by appointment.
One of my confreres sketched an explanation that attracted me: since the process of digestion is under the control of the brain, its cessation gave repose to the brain, allowed it a vacation.
When a person eats shortly before going to bed, digestion accompanies sleep. The two great physiological functions are completed together, leaving the maximum of freedom to the mind during the day.
The discrepancy between the modern observance and the prescriptions of the Rule had struck me ever since the novitiate, and no satisfactory explanation had ever been given to me. People said that man had changed: the weakness of people's health no lo...