Every Lent we get bombarded with messages in parish bulletins, religious newspapers, and sermons, about how fasting is less important than lots of other things. We hear about supposedly we have to choose between fasting and loving people. Or there are exhortations “don’t give up chocolate, give up gossip” or whatever.
Sometimes there is almost a stereotype presented, of the prim and proper Catholic, who considers fasting (and purity) important, contrasted with the renewed, loving Catholic.
The reality is that we know from the Christian tradition that our bodies, minds, and souls are connected. We remember the Incarnation, and the Person who fasted before we did, even while we avoid hypocritical fasting He condemned.