St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry
but to you?
from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare Your servant
from strange sins.
St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen
St. Gregory Nazianzen (329 - 390)
"By our passions, let us imitate His Passion."
"Christ fasted a while before His temptation; we, before the Paschal feast - the matter of fasting is the same. This hath in us the force of mortifying us with Christ, and is the purifying preparation to the feast. And He indeed fasted forty days; for He was God; but we proportionate this to our power, though zeal persuade some to leap even beyond their strength."
St. Basil the Great (330 - 379)
"Fasting is the beginning of penance or repentance, the continence of the tongue, the bridle of anger, the banishment of lust."
"Fasting is our assimilation unto the Angels, the temperament of life."
St. Ambrose (340 - 397)
"Not every hunger makes an acceptable fast, but that hunger which is undertaken from the fear of God."
"For so hath the Lord appointed, that as for His Passion we should mourn in the fasts of Lent, so for His Resurrection we should rejoice in the fifty days following. Therefore, we fast not in this fifty days, because in these the Lord is with us. "
St. Jerome (347 - 420)
"The Lord hath taught us that the fiercer sort of devils cannot be overcome but by prayer and fasting."
"The Lord Himself, the true Jonah, sent to preach unto the world, fasted forty days, and leaving us the inheritance of the fast, under this number prepares our souls for the eating of His Body."
"The Lord fasted forty days in the wilderness, that He might leave unto us the solemn days of the fasts."
St. Chrysostom (349 - 407)
"And the ground and teacher of all these things, fasting will be unto us; fasting, I mean, not that of most men, but that which is the true fast, viz. the abstinence not from meats only, but from sins."