In a culture obsessed with consumption, I believe fasting needs to be considered in terms of its inner dynamic: abstinence . . . . The purpose of abstinence is to learn rightly to enjoy God's gifts. We need disciplines of abstinence because we have come to relate to food, drink, sex, money, recognition, and many other things in life not as lovely gifts to be enjoyed in moderation and gratitude, but as objects of consumption to fill emotional voids. When what we consume is consuming us, and what we possess is possessing us, the only way back to health and balance is to refrain from using those things that have control over us.
-Marjorie J. Thompson