Fasting protects all virtues. It is the beginning of spiritual struggle, the crown of those who refrain themselves, the beauty of virginity and purity, the brilliance of wisdom, the beginning of the Christian life, the mother of prayer, the spring of abstinence and thrift. It teaches us about serenity and precedes all good deeds
From the inside, that is from the heart come all our sins. For Christ has said to the Apostles: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man” because it would mean to wash your hands “but that which cometh out of the mouth”. Because what comes out, comes from the heart. From the heart come adulteries, crimes, pride, insults. As in hell, they come out of our heart, and when they do, we are tempted from the inside.
We do need joy, as for this reason we were created by God. But spiritual joy is not same as the joy of this world. True spiritual joy means having a free heart, filled with the peace of Jesus. We have spiritual joy when we free ourselves from the dominion of the enemy, of evil thoughts and temptation