"We came from Palestine to Egypt and went to see one of the fathers. He offered us hospitality and we said, 'Why do you not keep the fast when visitors come to see you? In Palestine they keep it.' He replied, 'Fasting is always with me but I cannot always have you here. It is useful and necessary to fast but we choose whether we will fast or not. What God commands is perfect love. I receive Christ in you and so I must do everything possible to serve you with love. When I have sent you on your way, then I can continue my rule of fasting. The sons of the bridegroom cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them; when he is taken away from them, then they will fast.'"
- Sayings of the Desert Fathers, as collected by Benedicta Ward