Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.
— St Augustine
Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you.
When a man begins to fast, he straightway yearns in his mind to enter into converse with God.
— St Isaac the Syrian
Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.
— St Peter Chrysologus
When the stomach is full it is easy to talk of fasting.
— St Jerome
Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.
— St John Chrysostom
We must fast with our whole heart, that is to say, willing, wholeheartedly, universally and entirely.
— St Francis de Sales
God hides the prize of eternal glory in our mortifications and in the victory of ourselves, which we always strive for with great gentleness.
— St Jane Frances Chantal
The scripture is full of places that prove fasting to be not the invention of man but the institution of God, and to have many more profits than one. And that the fasting of one man may do good unto another, our Saviour showeth himself where he saith that some kind of devils cannot be cast out of one man by another “without prayer and fasting.” And therefore I marvel that they take this way against fasting and other bodily penance.
— St Thomas More
Fasting is most intimately connected with prayer. For the mind of one who is filled with food and drink is so borne down as not to be able to raise itself to the contemplation of God, or even to understand what prayer means.”
— Catechism of the Council of Trent
The man who never fasts is no more in the way to heaven than the man who never prays.
— John Wesley
The goal of fasting is inner unity. This means hearing, but not with the ear; hearing, but not with the understanding; it is hearing with the spirit, with your whole being. The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another, but the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence, it demands the emptiness of the faculties, and when the faculties are empty, then your whole being listens… Fasting of the heart empties the faculties, frees you from limitations and from preoccupations.
— Fr. Thomas Merton
Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.
— Dallas Willard
The ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us to make a complete gift of self to God.
— Pope Benedict XVI