Pleasure and guilt are synonymous terms in the language of the monks . . . they had discovered, by experience, that rigid fasts and abstemious diet are the most effectual preservatives against the impure desire of the flesh. The rules of abstinence . . . were not uniform or perpetual: the cheerful festival of the Pentecost was balanced by the extraordinary mortification of Lent; the fervour of new monasteries was . . . relaxed, and the voracious appetite of the Gauls could not imitate the patient and temperate virtue of the Egyptians . . . with their daily pittance of twelve ounces of bread . . . divided into two frugal repasts, of the afternoon and of the evening.
— p. 221, Chapter VII (“The Rise of Monasticism”)