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Of the observance of Lent.

Although a Monk’s life ought at all times to resemble a continual Lent, yet because few have such virtue, we exhort all in these days of Lent to live in all purity, and during this holy season to wash away all the negligences of other times. This we shall worthily accomplish if we refrain from all defects, and apply ourselves to tearful prayer, to reading, to compunction of heart, and abstinence. In these days, therefore, let us add something over and above to our wonted task, such as private prayers, and abstinence from meat and drink; let every one offer to God, of his own free will, with joy of the Holy Ghost, something above the measure appointed him; that is to say, let him withold from his body something in the way of food, drink, sleep, talk, laughter, and with spiritual joy and desire, await the holy feast of Easter. Nevertheless, let each one acquaint the Abbot with what he offers, and do it at his desire and with his consent; because whatever is done without the permission of the spiritual Father, shall be imputed to presumption and vain glory, and merit no reward. All things, therefore, must be done with the approbation of the Abbot.

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