Do we still believe there are “evil spirits who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls,” as the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel memorably phrases it?
Before long I had tears in my eyes—and not from the uneven grooves worn into the wood by pilgrims’ knees. Something about the physical discomfort helped me to focus on the much greater pain Jesus had felt on those same stairs.
Fasting does a number of things for us. First, it’s often healthy. Second, it reminds us that we have some control over our bodies. But it’s the third reason that is often lost on people: to save money so that we can give to the poor.