`And so the first thing that followeth sorrow for sin is fasting. For he that seeth that a certain food maketh him sick, for that he feareth death, after sorrowing that he hath eaten it, forsaketh it, so as not to make himself sick. So ought the sinner to do. Perceiving that pleasure hath made him to sin against God his creator by following sense in these good things of the world, let him sorrow at having done so, because it depriveth him of God, his life, and giveth him the eternal death of hell. But because man while living hath need to take these good things of the world, fasting is needful here. So let him proceed to mortify sense and to know God for his lord. And when he seeth the sense abhor fastings, let him put before it the condition of hell, where no pleasure at all but infinite sorrow is received; let him put before it the delights of paradise, that are so great that a grain of one of the delights of paradise is greater than all those of the world. For so will it easily be quieted; for that it is better to be content with little in order to receive much, than to be unbridled in little and be deprived of all and abide in torment.
`Ye ought to remember the rich feaster in order to fast well. For he, wishing here on earth to fare deliciously every day, was deprived eternally of a single drop of water: while Lazarus, being content with crumbs here on earth, shall live eternally in full abundance of the delights of paradise.
`But let the penitent be cautious; for that Satan seeketh to annual e very good work, and more in the penitent than in other, for that the penitent hath rebelled against him, and from being his faithful slave hath turned into a rebellious foe. Whereupon Satan will seek to cause that he shall not fast in any wise, under pretext of sickness, and when this shall not avail he will invite him to an extreme fast, in order that he may fall sick and afterwards live deliciously. And if he succeed not in this, he will seek to make him set his fast simply upon bodily food, in order that he may be like unto himself, who never eateth but always sinneth.`As God liveth, it is abominable to deprive the body of food and fill the soul with pride, despising them that fast not, and holding oneself better than they. Tell me, will the sick man boast of the diet that is imposed on him by the physician, and call them mad who are not put on diet? Assuredly not. But he will sorrow for the sickness by reason of which he needs must be put upon diet. Even so I say unto you, that the penitent ought not to boast in his fast, and despise them that fast not; but he ought to sorrow for the sin by reason whereof he fasteth. Nor should the penitent that fasteth procure delicate food, but he should content himself with coarse food. Now will a man give delicate food to the dog that biteth and to the horse that kicketh? No, surely, but rather the contrary. And let this suffice you concerning fasting.'
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