How does fasting/Lent affect people spiritually?

In my family growing up,being raised as “non practicing” Catholics we ate fish on Good Friday’s because this was simply what Catholics culturally did.
I never thought about it too deep though so it was just more a “social ritual” rather than a spiritual thing.
Also,these days meat and seafood is plenty accessible for many and it’s no longer a luxury to be able to eat meat,people just go down to the butchers to buy it unlike in bible days so it’s really not much of a sacrifice.
Actually,I would think quality fish these days has a higher status than meat and it’s healthier to eat fish eat so maybe not eating fish on Lent would be more of a sacrifice?

What is the point/connection of denying body to spiritual anyway?Ie:is the sacrifice meant to “just” make a person contemplate on and remind of Jesus sacrifices or does it actually affect the spiritual life etc?

Following to hear what others say on this issue.

Have a read of the Book of Tobit. Can be done in one sitting. In it, fasting, prayer and almsgiving are engaged in by the book’s namesake, and then extolled as virtues by the Archangel Raphael. Notable here is the fact that angels, archangels in particular, are God’s messengers, and since their wills are perfectly formed to God’s will, the message they relate is exactly as it would be if the Lord Himself spoke it.

Fasting, prayer and almsgiving fall under the umbrella of our Lord’s teaching on discipleship: “Deny yourself…” (Luke 9:23). A denial of the self and the sacrifice that accompanies it, are signs of love: love of neighbor and love of God.

Don’t forget to consider reading Tobit. If you do, you will discover a fascinating story which encompasses virtually all aspects of human behavior and experience: Job-like suffering, unwavering faith, spiritual and corporal works of mercy and a restoration of that which was lost.

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It’s true giving up meat on Fridays isn’t such a big sacrifice. That’s why we can always do something else that is harder for us and more of a denial of self.

Making sacrifices strengthens your will and can have spiritual benefits by making you focus on God more. Also it’s a way to show someone you love them… Giving up someone you like for them. It’s a small act of love

The way I do it, it’s just a suffering for God, like a pebble in my shoe.
It is physically and mentally uncomfortable for me the way I do it.

Not eating meat is not done to be a hardship; it is a symbolic fast. No flesh of warm-blooded animals on Fridays in memorial of Christ’s blood spilled on the Cross.

Fasting absolutely affects the spiritual life. It helps teach us to reject our desires and it can allow us to suffer with our Savior. Plus, as you mention, it helps us contemplate on and remember Jesus’ sacrifices.

The body and the soul are not fully separable. We are not bodies with souls or souls with bodies; we are bodies and souls. What one does affects the other and what happens to one affects the other.

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I agree with this. Occasionally it is a hardship to me if I really want to have some meat or I’m someplace with a lot of tasty meat dishes, but usually it’s not that difficult.

My actual fasting is done on a different day and through a different method and is more rigorous than the Friday symbolic fast.

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Yeah, I really enjoy my Lenten Friday dinners. Who has two thumbs and cooks a mean pan-seared salmon fillet? This guy (I’m pointing my thumbs at myself).

But the mere fact that I’m eating salmon instead of steak is a reminder that keeps my mind on Christ.

Sacrifice is absolutely primordial in it’s origin!!
Note that the King of Greece, in sending the
thousand ships to save Helen of Troy met
w/ opposing winds, he sacrificed his son
to “appease” the gods and lo, the winds turned
favorable and thus the victory was won.
Even in the Bible, sacrifice was common in
the OT by non-jews, note the sacrifice of the
King of Edom’s son, who was heir to the
throne when the Battle was going against him.
Thus, by human nature, it is natural for to
sacrifice to FORTIFY our consciences, also
fasting is a means for holiness, as Jesus
himself says:“when the Bridegroom is taken
away, THEN they will fast”, that is when we
do NOT see Christ in ourselves( in our actions),
then when we fast, we are repenting of NOT
passing THE TEST. 2 Cor. 13:5

Giving up meat may not mean much of a sacrifice for you but it is for others.

I fast during Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I find it helps in the strengthening of the will to choose the good.

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