St. Jerome on Fasting

Blessed Jerome ca. 347-420

There are, in the Scriptures, countless divine answers condemning gluttony and approving simple food. But as fasting is not my present theme and an adequate discussion of it would require a treatise to itself, these few observations must suffice of the many which the subject suggests. By them you will understand why the first man, obeying his belly and not God, was cast down from paradise into this vale of tears; and why Satan used hunger to tempt the Lord Himself in the wilderness; Mat. 4:2-3 and why the apostle cries: Meats for the belly and the belly for meats, but God shall destroy both it and them; 1 Cor. 6:13 and why he speaks of the self-indulgent as men whose God is their belly. Phil. 3:19 For men invariably worship what they like best. Care must be taken, therefore, that abstinence may bring back to Paradise those whom satiety once drove out. (Letter 22.10)