This is the fast which exalts; which appeared from the First Born,
So as to extol the younger ones. There is occasion for delight for the discerning ones in fasting;
When one sees how much he has grown. Fasting secretly purifies the soul
So it can gaze on God and grow by the vision of Him.
For the weight that is from the earth, bends it back to the earth.
Blessed is He Who gave us fasts,
The sheer wings by which we fly to him!
From St. Ephraim of Syria's Hymns on Fasting.