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3 Transformative Benefits of Fasting That Can Make You a Holier Person

Ever wonder about the spiritual benefits of fasting?

In a recent episode of “The Catholic Gentleman,” host John Heinen dives deep into fasting, a spiritual discipline often overlooked in our modern “fast-food” culture.

With Father David Abernethy, a Byzantine priest and desert spirituality expert, they reveal three transformative effects of fasting that can grow your hunger for spiritual nourishment!

1. Deepen Your Relationship with Christ

Fasting is meant to foster a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ.

“It is to help us become more mindful of God —it is not a discipline abstracted from the reality of the person of Christ and our relationship with him,” Father Abernethy explains.

Fasting should be motivated by a sincere desire and yearning for Christ. When rooted in Christ, fasting becomes a powerful spiritual weapon against temptations and the devil’s snares.

“Life for us is our struggle against the passions in order that we might love God and love others without any impediment,” Abernethy continues.

2. Transforming Mind, Body and Spirit

Fasting is a transformative practice affecting the body, mind, and spirit. It disciplines us and brings order to our basic appetites, which can often become disordered.

Father Abernethy says fasting heightens our awareness of inner drives and desires: “With fasting, we become aware and alert of what’s going on within us, what is driving our appetites.”

3. Strengthening Our Relationships with Others

Fasting also strengthens our relationships with others. By controlling our appetites, we can better recognize others as created in God’s image and likeness. Father Abernethy explains this with the word “companion,” which means those who break bread together.

“If we’re not able to do that with ourselves, we aren’t going to be able to do that with others; we’re going to lose sight of who they are as created in the image and likeness of God,” he says.

In a culture saturated with abundance and temptations of instant gratification, fasting is a spiritual discipline that brings order to our appetites and draws us closer to Christ and our community.

Watch the episode below for Father Abernethy’s advice on fasting:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

Let’s embrace fasting in today’s “fast-food” culture!

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