This connection between food and drink and a lack of spiritual vigilance led Father John to develop careful and elaborate rules for "using" food similar to those of the ascetics of the desert. The rules covered combinations of foods he considered bad ("No horseradish with vinegar!"), quantities consumed ("You may drink three cups of coffee with cream after dinner, after about three hours; four [cups] is excessive and sinful. Or mixing tea and coffee--it won't do"), types of food ("buckwheat kasha is good, cream bad").
Finally, nearly in despair, he gave up the various careful rules he had devised and sought to reduce them to one terse rule, written in capital letters: "NEVER EAT SUPPER!"
- A Prodigal Saint: Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People, Nadieszda Kizenko