Fellow desert travelers, how is it going for you? Modern day Catholics practice this Lenten aesthetic rule for 40 days a year but the early Church made a regular practice of aesthetical discipleship. Most of the Early Church Fathers made it their daily practice to pray, fast and give alms. The whole of their lives were spent giving away time, appetites and possessions. We have much to learn from The Church's past, we have a long journey to travel toward a life that is marked by total self-denial and humbleness. May we learn well.
The scripture is full of places that prove fasting to be not the invention of man but the instituion 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
(Patron Saint of Lawyers, Martyred 1535)
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
(Doctor of the Church, 4th Century)
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, 1545-1563)