I’ve had a few folks comment here or there about fasting on Sundays. As in, I don’t have to.

I appreciate everyone’s helpful nature and concern, and skipping Sundays is something I have learned about over the course of my research. I’ve also read about eating an evening meal and several variations. I’ve been spending time in the Rules of St. Benedict and St. Francis, and both remain very general in many aspects of a monk’s livelihood–fasting is no exception.

I’ve also learned  that when you break a fast, your body sorta kicks back to its old mode of functioning and you have two or three tough days to follow. I think this would be especially rough on an extended fast, doing this week after week.

The fact is: the rules for my fast are my own. I could drink bacon grease if I wanted to–it’s a liquid after all–but I’m just simplifying this whole landscape to beer and water unless my doctor starts pestering me with good cause.

The first three days of a fast are supposed to be the hardest, and I guess I’ve decided to do that only once. I have a feeling that if the monks of the 1600s broke their fast on Sundays, they didn’t break it with anything too substantive. They probably just pulled out their blender and threw together a yummy smoothie of some kind.

That’s what I have to look forward to. My son Tom makes a mean smoothie, and I’ll probably have those for Easter dinner and a day or two to follow.

Then, I’ll tuck into a bacon sandwich.

Cheers, all! And thanks for all the well-wishes. We tap the beer in about 6 hours. Hope to see you there if you’re local.


About Wilson

J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP judge and pretty good dad. View all posts by Wilson

15 responses to “Rules

  • beerinator

    Someone should totally steal an idea from this and open up a traditional 1600’s inspired Monk’s smoothie shop.

    Also, good luck!

  • Cody M.

    Prayers abound in Collegeville, MN! I hope that this quest leads you to a deeper understanding of Lent and the mysteries that surround it. I also hope that you don’t get sick of that beer during the 40 (plus Sundays) days of Lent!



  • Rolka Nation's Brewery

    Good luck, man. Just heard about this and looked you up. Interesting quest and I’ll check back often. I’m gonna post a link to you on my blog, as well.

  • Alan N.

    Best of luck! Pretty stoked about following ur progress!

  • Erik the Red

    Wilson, I married a Hawkeye no too long ago and have spent the last two years traveling back to Bloomfield helping on the farm. I saw your piece in the sunday paper. Very inspiring. During my college years I did a couple of 7 dayers, and the church I loved actually did a 35+ dayer every New Years to SuperBowl Sunday in a kind oppositional stance against pop culture. Between a 55-60 hour work week and a 4 credit Seminary class I have found it difficult to focus/concentrate on my studies and still eat well. Being raised Catholic, Lent was always a time of obligation more than reflection and spiritual exploration. My final is scheduled for 4-14. Frankly, I would love to experience the clarity of thought, spiritual intuitiveness and long lasting energy I had during my college fasts. I’ll chime in tomorrow and let you know if I’m journeying with you.

  • Joe M

    Saw the article in the DSM Sunday Register. Inspired to join in. As a practicing non-Catholic layperson, I am only obligated to “fast” on Fridays and holy days of obligation, of which tomorrow (Ash Wednesday) is one. My choice is Anchor Steam’s Anchor Bock Beer, for tomorrow. Not having the approval of my boss, I am going to add breath mints to the menu. Good luck, and God speed. HJ

  • FastingWithYou

    I did a juice only fast in my 30s (about 10 years ago) and yes, the first 3 days are the hardest. I made it through all 40+ days of Lent (yes I also fasted the Sundays). I would agree that when you start substituting food, it changes your body’s desire and pattern and then you have to basically start over. The body becomes humbled, chastened and purified through prayer and fasting. I have elected to do it again this year.

  • Chris O.

    Greetings from one fellow brewer to another! I posted your vid on my blog, and a link to this one… Be assured of my prayers for your successful endeavor.

  • ben

    The Friars you are speaking of were neither benedictines nor franciscans, but a strict reform of the franciscan called minims. Their rule was more strict than that of the franciscans and forbid the consumption of meat alltogether year round except in case of illness.

    Stricktly speaking, Minims are not monks either, but mendicant friars, like the other franciscans or the dominicans.

    They appear to have a house in Los Angeles. They may be able to provide you with a copy of their rule in english. I’ve only found it online in italoan.

    their contact information is on this page:

  • Wilson

    Ben-thanks. Good point. You are totally right. I guess I generalized a bit in that the Paulaner monastery followed Francis of Paola, who followed Francis of Assisi (the Francis of Franciscan, right?) I have learned about the minim element, but I didn’t fully understand that they were technically friars. So much to learn. I hope folks read through the comments, because even though I’ve done a lot of reading in the last many months, I haven’t understood or ingested everything. This a learning project, for sure. Thanks, again.

  • Lindsey

    As a registered dietitian, I hope you are taking a liquid multivitamin with this fast – it is liquid after all!

  • Bevy

    So you’re not concerned with your blood sugar and blood alcohol levels? I kindof wonder if you’re not taking into consideration the simplicity of a 1600’s Monk diet. They ate with the seasons and some days/months were probably pretty slim in provisions. Maybe 40 day beer fasts were a relief to them. Did they ever journal about how much they HATED that fast? It just seems that drinking something so full of nothing but starches is not a good idea for your body. Fast means to abstain – maybe you need to call this a fast from everything BUT water and beer?

  • Sarah

    This guy is not holy or religious, but a stupid drunken attention whore using the name of God to pull a frat-boy publicity stunt. Shame on you and shame on any stupid pretend “pastor” who is “spiritually advising” you to drink like every other drunken asshole rolling around in the gutter.

    You’re disgusting and everything evil I can think of, you stupid drunk. You deserve a trashed liver and, oh yeah, the Alzheimers this will end up causing years down the line when you’re on to some other stupid self-seeking stunt.

    You are not anything good at all. You’re a drunken douche-bag.

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