So why do we fast? Because it is good to develop the skill of saying “No” to ourselves sometimes, to devote more time and energy to a Lenten review of the quality of our lives. So that the emptiness thus created may be used to ground increased attention to the practice of prayer and holy reading (lectio divina). So that what we deny to ourselves may be given to those in need. The penances most likely to help us are those that swing our thoughts away from the world of outer involvement towards the heart. Then we can discover our own deep need for God. And, after a time, we will begin to experience God’s loving response to this intense desire.
Michael Casey, O.C.S. O.