From the RULE OF ST BENEDICT
Chapter 49: The Observance of Lent
1 The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. 2 Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure 3 and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times. 4 This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial. 5 During these days, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink, 6 so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:6). 7 In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing. 8 Everyone should, however, make known to the abbot what he intends to do, since it ought to be done with his prayer and approval. 9 Whatever is undertaken without the permission of the spiritual father will be reckoned as presumption and vainglory, not deserving a reward. 10 Therefore, everything must be done with the abbot’s approval.