About Reading Through Lent
The people of India tell us that by fasting we learn compassion. Lanza del Vasto, Gandhi's favorite European disciple, writes: "Those who are unwilling to let love of neighbor consume them are destined to stuff themselves with fine foods." At bottom, Christian fasting represents a serious effort to enter into the suffering death of Christ so as to share more fully in his Easter life. The church does not preach abnegation for the sake of abnegation. In the spring of the year she bids us take a beneficial pruning hook to the tree, not because she wants the sharp cuts to bring pain to the tree but because this painful action helps the tree blossom and bear fruit.
Most but not all quotes taken from the compilation A Lent Sourcebook: The Forty Days, ed. by J. Robert Baker, Evelyn Kaehler and Peter Mazar. Liturgy Training Publication, 1990.