St. John Chrysostom

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.

  • If you see a poor man, be moved to pity for him.
  • If you see an enemy, be reconciled to 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 your bodies.

  • Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice and greed.
  • Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
  • Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
  • Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
  • Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism (slander, calumny, detraction).

For what good is it if we abstain from food, but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?"

This is a long quotation, but very profitable to read. It explains the purpose of fasting, the proper attitude towards it, its effects on our spiritual state, and how fasting not done in the right spirit is actually injurious to us.