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On Fasting

Taken from Medulla S. Thomae Aquinatis which arranges various short texts from St. Thomas Aquinas' corpus based on the liturgical year. I will be posting the day's meditation each day and will be bringing it into print once I'm through it.

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Thursday after Ash Wednesday

On Fasting

I. Fasting is assumed principally for three reasons:

First, in order to bridle the lusts of the flesh, wherefore the Apostle says (2 Cor 6:5, 6): In fasting, in chastity, since fasting is the guardian of chastity. For, according to Jerome Venus is cold when Ceres and Bacchus are not there, that is to say, lust is cooled by abstinence in meat and drink.

Second, we have recourse to fasting in order that the mind may arise more freely to the contemplation of heavenly things: hence it is related (Dan 10) of Daniel that he received a revelation from God after fasting for three weeks.

Third, in order to satisfy for sins: wherefore it is written (Joel 2:12): Be converted to Me with all your heart, in fasting and in weeping and in mourning. The same is declared by Augustine in a sermon