CHAPTER 41 – The Times for Meals

… the members fast until mid-afternoon on Wednesday and Friday unless they are working in the fields or the summer heat is oppressive. (RB 41:2b)

Wednesday and Friday were considered Christian fast days as early as the third century in the time of Tertullian. Benedict relaxed the rules on fasting. His reasons seem practical. The monks are working hard and may need more food. The heat of summer for those doing manual labor requires additional drink. Benedict was pastoral rather than rigorous.

For followers of Benedict, fasting is an act that shapes us. The purpose of fasting is simply to center on God.