Are their differences between the Fasting and the Abstinence rule exceptions?

Reading these two rules to try and relate them to one’s own situation sometimes confuses me. I am a diabetic in my sixties. My interpretation is that I am excused from fasting by way of age and health (volume reduction) but not from abstinence (no flesh meat).

Additionally, sometimes it’s difficult for a diabetic to time a meal or snack to comply with the one hour rule prior to communion. I follow the fasting rule but I’m sometimes compelled (to avoid diabetic hypoglycemia) to eat more than I really need just before the one hour limit. A snack just before mass could build a bridge until after mass for a diabetic to avoid a glucose low. I’m not sure I’m allowed to break the rule prior to communion so I just “load up” 65 minutes before mass.

Dear P,

Do what you can regarding abstinance. If you can get by without taking food an hour before receiving the Eucharist, do it. But if you can’t, then eat a snack. It this case it would be seen as medicine.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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