Scripture: Psalm 35: 10-18
10. With every bone in my body I will praise him: “Lord, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the helpless from the strong? Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?” 11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good. I am sick with despair. 13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered. 14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family, as if I were grieving for my own mother. 15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble; they gleefully join together against me. I am attacked by people I don’t even know; they slander me constantly. 16 They mock me and call me names; they snarl at me. 17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! 18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
“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.”
--Saint Augustine Sermon, On Prayer and Fasting, LXXII
"Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God."