In the First Reading Isaiah told us that God wants us to pursue holiness not by fasting and and undergoing stiff penances; but rather by helping those in need.
The saints in our church's early centuries were famous for their extreme penances. St. Anthony cut himself off from all human contacts, living on scraps people threw his way. A saint named Simon for twenty years isolated himself on the top of a stone pillar.
Our saints from later centuries, men like Francis of Assisi, would eat a fine meal if it were put before him. You might not want to go along with this, but the difference between holiness in the early church and later church was somewhat philosophical. It was the difference between Plato and Aristotle.
Plato believe that our souls were created before our bodies, and our bodies are prisons from that our souls must overcome.
The writings of Aristotle were lost for a thousand year. He believed that our bodies and soul are created together at the same instant. For Aristotle holiness came from healthy minds in healthy bodies.