A touch of Provencal gastronomic superiority – and a touch of virtue!
It is a pleasure! Here at least, my dear Tempier, the days of fasting are days of penance, especially for Provençals who cannot, whatever effort they make, swallow the detestable oil they eat in Rome. On rogation days, they observe what is called the strict minimum, that is to say, eggs and dairy products are forbidden. I thank God for my invincible repugnance for the foul oil and have contented myself these days solely with a piece of boiled fish on which I have squeezed half a lemon. Mgr. d’Isoard had wished that I dine with him; I took care not to accept his pressing offer because I admit that I felt nothing would have replaced the happiness that I experienced in doing three days of penance in the true sense and the real spirit of the Church.
Farewell for tonight, dear friend. Embrace on my behalf all the family. Pray for me; for my part, I make no station, not a step, without you beside me. I fear that Suzanne may have been over tired by that retreat at Allauch; he does not know how to be moderate, and I am always anxious about him. Affectionate regards for my dear uncle. Adieu.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 18 December 1825, EO VI n 212
“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.” Peter De Vries