Fasting: a hunger for God
Fasting is one of the pillars of Lent and it provides a significant means of helping us listen to the Lord. It is a form of self-denial as we grow in our ability to say no to self and yes to God. Fasting provides a spiritual cleansing where we “make room” in our souls for God. This also provides an opportunity to allow the things that are hidden to move to the surface to be exposed to God’s grace and mercy. Things move from darkness to the light of Christ.
Ultimately, the purpose of fasting is to help us focus on God; to hunger for His presence and to listen to His words.
The great St. Augustine provides the merits of fasting, especially for those living a life of celibacy: “Fasting purifies the soul. It lifts up the mind and brings the body into subjection to the spirit. It makes the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of desire, puts out the flames of lust and enkindles the true light of chastity.”