"Fasting is a medicine. But medicine, as beneficial as it is, becomes useless because of the inexperience of the user."
While fasting is often encouraged during Lent, sometimes we may approach the practice in the wrong way or with the wrong intention. As we heard in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, fasting merely to look pious defeats the purpose.
St. John Chrysostom, a holy bishop of the 4th century, lays out his thoughts on the “correct” way to fast in several of his homilies. He sees fasting as beneficial, but only if it is done with God’s grace.
Here is his advice on how to approach fasting in a Christian way.
How to teach your children obedience, according to St. John Chrysostom
A 2nd-century pope gave us the custom of Lenten fasting