40. The Measure of Drink

Each person has a particular gift from God—one in this way, another in that” (1 Cor 7:7).

Therefore, it is with some unease that we undertake to determine the measure of food and drink for others.

However, while making due allowance for the weakness of the sick, we believe that a hemina of wine a day is enough for each person. But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain should know that they will have their own reward.

If either the nature of the place, or the work, or the summer’s heat requires more, the superior has the power to decide this while taking care, as always, that no overindulgence or drunkenness creeps in. Although we read that wine is altogether not for monks, it is, however, impossible in our times to persuade monks of this. So let us at least agree to this: we should not drink to excess but more sparingly, for “wine makes even the wise fall away” (Sir 19:2).

When, however, the nature of the place makes it impossible to get even the measure mentioned above, but much less or even none at all, let those who live there bless God and not murmur. This above all do we counsel them: there is to be no murmuring among them.



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The Rule of Benedict by Saint Meinrad Archabbey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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