"There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures----they are prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. Prayer knocks at the door; fasting obtains; works of mercy receive. Prayer, works of mercy, and fasting; these three are one, and they give life to another. Fasting is the soul of prayer; works of mercy are the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them, for they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, snow mercy; if you want your petitions to be heard, hear the petitions of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God's ear to yourself."
---from a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus, bishop
from the Office of Readings, Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent