Fasting and Abstinence. Are they important? Are they necessary? The Church, as a caring mother, is providing us a specific means and season for completing acts of penance, such as fasting and abstinence. Her goal is to see to it that her children attain eternal life. Her precept on fasting, then, is for our spiritual benefit.
The spiritual benefits of fasting are many. Not only is it an excellent means of engaging in penance, as Christians are required to do, but it confers other benefits such as helping to build self-mastery, the control of the soul over the desires of the flesh.
It’s the sacred season of Lent. The three disciplines of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. One of the questions people frequently have about Lent pertains to fasting.
Many Catholics and other Christians have questions in terms of fasting and abstinence during Lent. Is fasting important? Is it required? Is it spiritually beneficial? And what’s abstinence all about?
The lenten discipline of fasting opens up the true horizon of life’s meaning, purifying us of unhealthy material attachments and opening the way for the eternal Word to penetrate our hearts.