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Fasting is abstention from food -- from the ordinary meaning of the word; but abstention or no abstention from food neither makes us holy or unholy. Total abstention mystically means death. Thus, fasting really means abstention from worldly things, for we would die as far as worldly matters are concerned; and after that, when we partake of food of divine nature, we will live in God. 

Fasting empties the soul of matter, and presents the soul pure and nimble to the body, according to the divine words. Then, on the one hand, worldly nourishment consists of temporal life and iniquities, while divine nourishment is faith, hope, love, patience, knowledge, peace, prudence; as our Lord said in Matthew: "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled," where truly He attributes this longing to the soul and not to the body. 

St. Clement





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