Happiness

The bells were ringing out, we gather, far to the south, where a friend of ours was elected Abbot of D——. Everybody, but everybody, was there, so we are told by the Martyrologist, who was one of them — if some ill-wisher had dropped a bomb on the Abbey, every posh papist in England would have gone up with it, I gather. I’m sure it was all very nice. The dogs were under a firm impression that the Gyrovague in question, who likes his dinner, had been elected as member for the Food Party, and of course, thoroughly approved. This was confirmed by the Martyrologist; the genteel beano which followed the actual election involved five kinds of cake, and cream horns made with clotted cream. I think that the monks are going to find themselves facing a great deal less wholemeal bread and lentil soup in the next few years.

10 Responses to “Happiness”

  1. carol Says:

    There a lot of good left unsaid about various lentil soups- as a vehicle for spiciness and swirly cream, for instance. Or do monks insist on piping bag stylings for their dairly products?

  2. canadian professor Says:

    Have a cookbook of monastery soups for the year. They are splendid, but would not meet the ascetical views of Andrew (Lancelotto) Avellino, whose history I could not resisting finding.

  3. Jane Says:

    The trouble with the previous regime was that it was lentil soup, plain not fancy. Wholemeal bread…. food is just fuel. Let us just say that from wha I have gathered, there were those among the community for whom food was, and is, not just fuel but a little perky point of interest and variety in one’s day. Only it wasn’t. The Food Party, slogan, ‘Just as Much Godliness but More Gastronomy’ carried all before it.

  4. canadian professor Says:

    See chapter 39, 40 of the Rule on food and drink. The only adverse comment I heard was from a senior member of the community, who thought of arguing for lettuce or other greenery on the strength of the Rule, but liked to choose his battles. The Rule provides for alteration of the principles set down in 39 for the infirm, aged etc.

  5. will Says:

    That earnest buffoon Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who rents a cottage along the coast here thought that we eat animals simply as an intelligent addition to our palate. I’m sure he is no saint and does not celebrate “Saint Hugh’s holiday” by substituting food and plenty for dearth and poverty.

  6. will Says:

    Mind you, it gets worse when you look for something simple on the net and get ‘A Blog dedicated to the promotion of the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith in union with HH Benedict XVI, to the preservation of our Traditional Græco-Roman Catholic Civilisation and to the New Crusade against Islam.’ Anthony Blair may be wondering just how many worthies he has left…

  7. Dr Biswell Says:

    I have my copy of St Benedict’s Rule to hand, partly because I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without it. “Therefore, let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brethren; and if any fruit or young vegetables are available, let a third be added.” It’s fairly clear that what St Benedict had in mind was a diet of sufficiency, not of lavishness. Fortunately there is a handy get-out clause in Chapter 39 which won’t have escaped the notice of the Abbot of D—: “But if their work chance to be heavier, the abbot shall have choice and power, should it be expedient, to increase this allowance.” Sighs of relief all round. It all depends on how you define heavy work.

  8. canadian professor Says:

    The Rule would seem in fact to argue for a form of vegetarianism - no four-footed animals. Jane’s observation might be linked to the dangers of acedia without the occasional profiterole.

  9. cprofessor Says:

    John Bruckmann, especially expert on the Rule (he would have approved to Dr. Biswell’s not leaving home without it & perhaps suggested that we make a carrying case with O and L embroidered) might have added that the Rule was written at a time when, in comparison with modern standards, we all exist in a state of fast. Can anyone supply an exact reference for what the Dominicans had to do to St. Thomas A’s place at table?

  10. cprofessor Says:

    John Bruckmann, especially expert on the Rule (he would have approved to Dr. Biswell’s not leaving home without it & perhaps suggested that we make a carrying case with O and L embroidered) might have added that the Rule was written at a time when, in comparison with modern standards, the Lenten fast had some meaning./ He said that we all exists now in a state of fast. Can anyone supply an exact reference for what the Dominicans had to do to St. Thomas A’s place at table?

    Sorry for the messiness of the first draft. It is late in the day & I have been working, working.

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