The idea that my furry friend who had such a fear of hunger, in the end lost his appetite and wittled down to half his normal weight has me thinking.
Hermits regularly perform acts of penance. Especially for others who cannot. Self-sacrifice.
One of my favorite light hearted Catholic websites is BustedHalo.com. Today they've got a great article on the reasons behind fasting. Not just in Christianity but in Judaism and Islam as well.
One of those famous ancient philosophers said "Nothing sharpens the mind like hunger." Very true indeed. I think that's why fasting helps us reach the divine. It sharens are attention to a pin-point, enabling us to see that "narrow gate."