Day 2

So far, so good.

As laid out, my plan has been to meet each Friday with our local Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Ken Rummer. He called me right after I posted yesterday, thinking that we should have a word of prayer on the first day, and I thought that sounded great. I was glad he was thinking of me.

Sometimes you only need twelve words to get the job done. Rummer had found an excellent prayer straight out of the 1600s, but it was a Celtic blessing he offered that really knocked my socks off:

“I on Thy path O God

Thou O God, in my steps.”

‘Nuff said. This is a journey, and Ken has started me out on the right path.

As for today, it has been good. I went to bed hungry and with a headache, and awoke this morning feeling good. The headache was still hanging on, but reduced. It’s grown a little over the course of today, but I haven’t really been all that hungry today–just noticing a little emptiness around 2 and 4 p.m.

I thought today would be worse. Just this little headache thing.

I had to go take a photo in the afternoon, and arriving back at the office, it occurred to me that I should have my afternoon snack, though honestly, I really didn’t care if I drank a beer or not just then. I did simply to get it out of the way and take advantage of its sustenance. Interestingly, that’s not the discipline I expected I would need to keep.

Peace and Pints!



About Wilson

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

12 responses to “Day 2

  • Matthew

    Wasn’t Our Lord quite clear about keeping your fasting between yourself and God? It isn’t worth anything if you’re broadcasting it. Ah, but that’s just the point. you’re so cool..

    • Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

      The Lord was also very clear that the rich man needed to give away everything he owned in order to be a true follower, but, like many things in the Bible, the common understanding is that that wasn’t meant for each of us to take literally in all circumstances.

      I think that J. Wilson will do much to inspire others by sharing his experiences with this fast.

  • Tsunami

    Hey, dude,

    There are plenty of people who broadcast their fast, and many for the wrong reasons; but you can, so to speak, justify this by noting that it is REALLY tough to do a 40-day fast without a certain amount of companionship. A few friends of mine used to do bread-and-water fasts at my alma mater and it’s quite impossible to do alone; and after all, friendship between human beings is an image of friendship with Christ when done properly. So consider that some of us are rather pulling for you than judging you; and speaking as one pursuing a Theology Master’s degree, I THINK God will still approve, n’est pas? 🙂

    (As it happens, I also run the group “The Catholic Church: Because the Beer is Just Better” on Facebook. So there’s that too.)

    Anyways, do keep in mind that of which beer is a tribute, that the intoxication in the beatitude God gives will bring you to your knees more effectively than alcohol. Beer, after all, is meant to point to the joyful delight in the eschatological vision of God, and is a liquid prefiguring of mysticism. And, like mysticism, beer will knock you on your ass if you are not humble in approaching it. So fast humbly and continue to give the rest of us an opportunity to support you with our prayers and friendship; and in your joyful but difficult penance, pray also for me, a sinner.


    • Tsunami

      Also: My friends have suggested you make what might be an exception to your fast by taking vitamins. Beer may have lots of carbs, but the kind the monks were drinking was significantly closer to bread in content, and even then several of them became faint. Remember that in all the rules of those monasteries the provision was that brothers who were in genuine danger of bad illness would be dispensed from their fast at least until they were better. If you start getting really indisposed, see a doctor and act accordingly.

  • luke

    A friend of mine just sent me a link you your blog today, and I must say I am quite fascinated in how the fast goes for you, and the toll it takes on you physically/mentally/spiritually? I wish you the best of luck and look forward to your updates. Great work so far.

    (As a matter of coincidence, I have chosen to abstain from all alcohol for Lent; which is not fun living in a house where 2 of us 5 work in the beer industry, and thus have a seemingly endless supply)

    Cheers from Milwaukee!

    God Bless,

  • Bevy

    UGH – drinking beer and only beer except for alittle water … I would DIE! Also, with Hep C alcohol is NOT the best thing for me.
    Did you hear about the man that ate 20 potatoes a day for 60 days? His cholesterol went way down and he lost 20+ #’s – pretty cool. Oh – and he was on the Potato Board of Washington State – he said a couple days into the fast that he wished he was on the beef council … 🙂
    I hope and pray that you succeed – but I’m glad it’s not me.

  • matt

    why are people posting comments like you just woke up on ash Wednesday and just decided to do this? If you read his other posts he has thought this out. Of course if he feels sick he’s going to see a doctor, it’s common sense people.

  • Barb

    I am a little rusty on my Rule of Benedict but I think each day also included praying Liturgy of the Hours and mass. Are you including those in your lenten journey?

    Enjoy your journey may it bring you closer to God.

  • Tom

    [16] Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    [17] But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
    [18] That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

    Matt 6:16-17

  • megan

    I have fasted before, but never a beer fast. There is sustenance in beer; new mothers were often prescribed a pint of Guinness as meal replacement.

    I’m not surprised by the headache–my guess is that it’s sugar withdrawal, or perhaps caffeine withdrawal if you drank caffeinated beverages before the fast.

    I don’t know if you’ve fasted before. If not, then you may be surprised how your sense of smell grows very keen. Raw vegetables that used to be odorless to your nose and tasteless in your mouth, will indeed have an aroma, and when you finally eat one, more taste than you can imagine.

    I wish you well in your fast!

  • Stephanie

    Do you have resources, print or electronic, possibility a bibliography? I am very interesting in learning about specific dates, breweries (obviously most are defunct now) and Trappist houses. Best of luck!

  • Erin

    What a challenge this will be! It seems really thought out and well planned. Good luck! I’m looking forward to checking back on your progress.

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