I'm not really sure what to say about this part of the Rule. One doesn't see too many examples of self-flagellation in any of the Abbey's I've attended (none is the appropriate number). And though I do know,the Brotherhood fasts, it has not been in my presence.
I believe it comes down to the simple words my brothers used when discussing the Benedictine ideal of moderation: "don't eat too much food and don't drink too much wine." Too much is the key. Too much of anything is bad for,you.
On my first full tile interim, I went through a period when I did drink too much food, and too much wine. This, of course, made me sleepy in the morning. So I compensated by drinking too much caffeine. On my last day in worship, my right leg began to bother me. It would weaken suddenly. I ignored that, and finished packing. On Tuesday I started to move from one church to another, my right arm went out of control and I began having trouble speaking. By the time I had arrived it was obvious that I was having a stroke.
Thanks be to God that I have fully recovered. But I learned a lesson, the hard way I believe. Hold to the path of moderation and avoid taking in too much of anything.
Brother Oscar Romero