Bodily fasting needs to be accompanied by a spiritual fast. There is, for example, no point in abstaining from certain foods, on the one hand, but, on the other, reviling people. A saintly ascetic once said: ‘It’s better to eat meat and drink wine than to eat the flesh of your brothers and sisters with whispers and censure’. Fasting also loses its meaning when it’s separated from love. Lots of people fast meticulously, they observe the letter of the rules for fasting, but retain hatred for their brothers and sisters in their hearts. They won’t even wish them “Good day” and often for the most insignificant of reasons. A fast such as that is useless.
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