bridegroom is with them. But later, the bridegroom will be taken from them; and they will fast in
Jesus also told them this parable: “No one tears a piece from a new coat to put it on an old one;
otherwise the new coat will be torn, and the piece taken from the new coat will not match the old
coat. No one puts new wine into old wine skins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and
be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed as well. But new wine must be put into fresh skins.
Yet, no one who has tasted old wine is eager to drink new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”
Fasting for fasting’s sake is no benefit for the soul. Fasting undertaken for selfish goals is harmful.
When one fasts for the right purposes and with the right spirit, one would know when to begin and
when to end. Here are some insights from Mahatma Gandhi, who defined fasting as satyagraha
(holding on to truth): “Fasting and prayer therefore are a most powerful process of purification and
that which purifies necessarily enable us the better to do our duty and to attain our goal. If
therefore fasting and prayer seem at times not to answer, it is not because there is nothing in them
but because the right spirit is not behind them …. There is no prayer without fasting, taking fasting
in its widest sense. A complete fast is a complete and literal denial of self. It is the truest prayer.
‘Take my life and let it be always, only, all for Thee’ is not, should not be, a mere lip or figurative
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