[L]et’s make a distinction here. Christ and the saints exhort us to deny ourselves, to voluntarily turn away from the lure of physical comforts, to sell all we have to follow Him. He wants us to learn that we have a choice: to give ourselves over to the demands of the flesh, or to master the flesh and try, instead, to satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst.
Christ and the saints did not exhort us to deny others, to prevent other people from enjoying physical comforts. He did not tell us to make the choice for other people. Instead, He told us, over and over and over again, to feed His sheep. And that’s what the saints did: they fed people. Yes, with plain old physical food, that poor people could eat with their bodily mouths and digest with their earthbound bellies.