"...fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy. Fasting dries up when mercy dries up. Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth...when you fast, if your mercy is thin, your harvest will be thin; when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn...give to the poor and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others."
I wrote this out from a book I read a long time ago. I forgot to write down who said it, but it was a saint, I remember that.
Mercy. It seems as if that truly is the key to happiness. With mercy, there is love and forgiveness.
With mercy there is hope.
With mercy there is a soft toughness that is tender to those that need it, and strengthening to those that offer it.
When you offer mercy, you can believe that God will give it to you, like He promised.
When you offer mercy, you can have a deeper repentance for offending God.
When you offer mercy you have a much more difficult time being judgmental; when you offer mercy you see everyone's need for it, rich or poor, well or sick, overwhelmed or lonely.
It seems fasting loosens the soil of the heart, so that mercy can sink in, and take root, and blossom and bear the fruit of more mercy.
Fasting and mercy have to go together.