« When men or women decide to live a community life dedicated to God, they must take into account the way they take their meals together. Medieval architecture of monasteries shows that the dining hall is like a replica of the church. From liturgy and the choir we go to the table, since the food prolongs the Eucharist « (Fr. Etienne Ricaud, OSB) simone exo incendie 16 mars 13 093 « Everywhere we must hold our tongue always ready to talk, but it is especially important at the table » (St. Bernard). According to an ancient monastic habit we take our meals in silence, while a sister named for the week provides a reading for the community. This reading is preceded by a brief excerpt of the first reading and the Gospel of the day. Then we listen to news articles, spiritual or other works, testimonials, etc … A sister is in charge of making the choice. The purpose of silence during meals is to make us comfortable to hear the readings. The sister in charge of the reading will have her meal after all the sisters have left the table. Sunday at noon, the reading is replaced with a musical accompaniment. “Deo Gratias” and “Benedicite” are the two prayers that frame the lunch and evening meal. The first to ask God to bless the food we are going to take, the second to thank him for the fruits of creation intended to give us new strength. During the forty days of Lent, our eating habits are little more stringent that throughout the year, except on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Bread and water at noon, soup, cheese and bread in the evening are those days our main food. Oh, it’s not painful, no! It is even beneficial … « Monastic fasting expresses the humble condition of a creature before God, and awakens in the heart of the nun spiritual desire and invites her to share in the compassion of Christ towards the crowd of those who are hungry. » (constitutions of the nuns, Chapter C.28: fasting)