The following comes to us from St. John Chrysostom, and is excellent food for thought in this season of Septuagesima:
Do you fast?
Give me proof of it by your works.
If you see someone who is poor, take pity on him.
If you see a friend being honored, do not be envious.
Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eyes, and the feet,
and the hands and all the member of our bodies.
Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ears fast by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism
For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes,
but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?