Certainly fasting is the death of vices, the life of the virtues. Fasting is the peace of the body, the glory of the bodily members, the embellishment of life. Fasting is strength for minds, vigor for souls. Fasting is the safeguard of charity, the bulwark of chastity, the fortress of sanctity. Fasting is the school of morals, the teaching of teachings, the discipline of disciplines. Fasting is the saving companion along the churchly journey. Fasting is the invincible commander of the Christian army. But among these virtues fasting thrives, conquers, and triumphs only when it defends itself with mercy as its general.
Sermon 8, section 3.