We are indeed what we eat, and the believer does not live by bread alone, but above all by the eucharistic Word and Bread and by the divine life they transmit. The personal and ecclesial practice of fasting is one of the ways we follow Jesus, who fasted (Matthew 4:2); it is an expression of our obedience to the Lord, who asked his disciples to pray and fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:15; Mark 9:29); it is a confession of faith expressed with our body; and it is a pedagogical tool that teaches us to worship God with our entire being (we should note that the verb 'worship' or 'adore' refers us to the mouth, os-oris, and therefore to the oral dimension of life). Today, in a society in which consumerism has dulled our ability to distinguish true needs from false ones, in which fasting and dieting have become an industry, in which fasting is easily associated with Asian ascetic techniques, and in which Lent is sometimes equated with the Muslim Ramadan, Christians should remember the anthropological basis of fasting as well as its specifically Christian significance. Fasting is truly an essential aspect of faith because it leads us to the question, "As a Christian, what is it that gives you life?"

From: ENZO BIANCHI, Words of Spirituality,
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London 2002