Fasting from food during Lent should also include fasting from sinful behaviors.
Lent is a beautiful season in the Church to recommit our lives to God. While the Church has certain days dedicated to fasting and abstinence from food during Lent, this discipline should not neglect the spiritual aspect of our lives.
Fasting in a bodily way is supposed to remind and strengthen us to “fast” from our own sinful behaviors.
The author of the 19th-century book The Lenten Manual and Companion for Holy Week explains how fasting is a means to an end, and that end is the elimination of sin in our lives.
Fasting, however, is but a means to an end; and that great end is the destruction of sin. We should fast as an atonement for sin, and we should fast to prevent the danger of falling into sin, For unless we fast from sin, all our fasting will be in vain, Do not, therefore, dearly beloved brethren, fast like hypocrites, with the body only, but preserve your souls from the contamination of sin. Otherwise you may be forced to say to the Lord, with the Prophet, “Why have we fasted, and you have not regarded; have we humbled our souls and you have not taken notice?” And he will answer, “Behold, in the day of your fast your own will is found.” (Isai. lviii. 3.)
One practical way to focus our attention on the sins in our lives that need to be eliminated is to chose one stubborn sin we want to work on. It could be a sin that has become a habit in your life and that you want to stop.
Don’t try eliminate all sin from your life, as that will set you up for failure. However, focusing on one particular sin is most beneficial and can lead to a very fruitful Lent.