“Fasting is the coercion of nature and the cutting out of everything that
delights the palate, the prevention of lust, the uprooting of bad thoughts,
deliverance from dreams, purity of prayer, the light of the soul, the
guarding of the mind, deliverance from blindness, the door of compunction,
humble sighing, glad contrition, a lull in chatter, a means to silence, a
guard of obedience, lightening of sleep, health of body, agent of
dispassion, remission of sins, the gate of Paradise and its delight.”

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 14.33