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Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
In Luc., vi, 22: The merciful loses the benefit of his mercy, unless he she sit from a pure heart; for if he seeks to have whereof to boast, he loses the fruit of his deeds; the next that follows therefore is, “Blessed are the pure of heart.”
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
How foolish, therefore, are those who seek God with these outward eyes, since He is seen with the heart! As it is written elsewhere, And in singleness of heart seek Him. For that is a pure heart which is a single heart: and just as this light cannot be seen, except with pure eyes; so neither is God seen, unless that is pure by which He can be seen. ...
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Mark well what follows. When the text says “blessed are the pure in heart,” it refers to those who have been made clean within, for they shall see God. To behold God is the end and purpose of all our loving activity. But it is the end by which we are to be perfected, not the end by which we come to nothing. Note that food is finished in a different way than a garment is finished. Food is finished when it is consumed in the eating. A garment is finished when it is completed in the weaving. Both are finished, but the former’s finish means destruction; the latter’s, perfection. Whatever we do, whatever good deeds we perform, whatever we strive to accomplish, whatever we laudably yearn for, whatever we blamelessly desire, we shall no longer be seeking any of those things when we reach the vision of God. Indeed, what would one search for when one has God before one’s eyes? Or what would satisfy one who would not be satisfied with God? Yes, we wish to see God. Who does not have this desire? ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
To the pure in heart is given the power of seeing God, as to those bearing about with them a pure eye for discerning eternal things: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
They are foolish who seek to see God with the bodily eye, seeing He is seen only by the heart, as it is elsewhere written, “In singleness of heart seek ye Him;” the single heart is the same as is here called the pure heart. City of God, book 22, ch. 29: But if spiritual eyes in the spiritual body shall be able only to see so much as they we now can see, undoubtedly God will not be able to be seen of them. No one seeing God can be alive with the life men have on earth, or with these our bodily senses. Unless one die altogether out of this life, either by totally departing from the body, or so alienated from carnal lusts that he may truly say with the Apostle, “whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell,” he is not translated that he should see this vision. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Understanding corresponds to the pure in heart, the eye being as it were purged, by which that may be beheld which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, and what has not entered into the heart of man: and of them it is here said, Blessed are the pure in heart.
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Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
The pure of heart are those who have gotten rid of sin’s filth, have cleansed themselves of all the pollution of the flesh and have pleased God through works of faith and justice. As David testifies in a psalm, “Who will climb up the Lord’s mountain, or who will stand in his holy place? The one with innocent hands and a pure heart, who has not received his soul in vain.” And David, rightly knowing that God can be seen only with a pure heart, prays as follows in the psalm, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” So the Lord shows that it is purehearted people like this who are blessed. They are those who, living by faith in God with a pure mind and unstained conscience, will win the right to see the God of glory in the heavenly kingdom to come, “no longer in a mirror and in riddles, but face to face,” as the apostle has said. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
The clean of heart are either those who give themselves to the practice of every virtue, and are conscious to themselves of no evil, or those who are adorned with the virtue of chastity. For nothing is so necessary as this purity in such as desire to see God. Keep peace with all and chastity, says St. Paul, for without this none can see God. Many are merciful to the poor and just in their dealings, but abstain not from luxury and lust. Therefore our Saviour, wishing to show that mercy was not sufficient, adds, that if we would see God, we must also be possessed of the virtue of purity. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.) By this, we shall have our heart exempt from all disordinate love of creatures, and shall be exclusively attached to God. (Haydock) The clean of heart, i.e. they who are clean from sin: who are pure in body and mind, says St. Chrysostom. It seems to be a particular admonition to the Jews, who were mostly solicitous about an outward and legal cleanness. (Witham) ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap. Anselm: Purity of heart comes properly in the sixth place, because on the sixth day man was created in the image of God, which image was shrouded by sin, but is formed anew in pure hearts by grace. It follows rightly thebeforementioned graces, because if they be not there, a clean heart is not created in a man. non occ.: The reward of these is greater than the reward of the first; being not merely to dine in the King’s court, but further to see His face. ...
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Jerome

AD 420
The pure is known by purity of heart, for the temple of God cannot be impure.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Behold again the reward is spiritual. Now He here calls pure, either those who have attained unto all virtue, and are not conscious to themselves of any evil; or those who live in temperance. For there is nothing which we need so much in order to see God, as this last virtue. Wherefore Paul also said, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 He is here speaking of such sight as it is possible for man to have. For because there are many who show mercy, and who commit no rapine, nor are covetous, who yet are guilty of fornication and uncleanness; to signify that the former alone suffices not, He has added this, much in the same sense as Paul, writing to the Corinthians, bore witness of the Macedonians, that they were rich not only in almsgiving, but also in all other virtue. For having spoken of the noble spirit they had shown in regard of their goods, he says, They gave also their own selves to the Lord, and to us. 2 Corinthians ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
By the pure are here meant those who possess a perfect goodness, conscious to themselves of no evil thoughts, or again those who live in such temperance mostly necessary to seeing God according to that of St. Paul, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see God.” For as there are many merciful, yet unchaste, to show that mercy alone is not enough, he adds this concerning purity. He who in thought and deed fulfils all righteousness, “sees God” in his heart, for righteousness is an image of God, for God is righteousness. So far as anyone has rescued himself from evil, and works things that are good, so far does he “see God,” either hardly, or fully, or sometimes, or always, according to the capabilities of human nature. But in that world to come the pure in heart shall see God face to face, not in a glass, and in enigma as here. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Note that the reward is spiritual. Those he here calls “pure” are either those who have so fully filled their lives with goodness that they are practically unaware of evil within themselves, or he may be referring to those who live a moderate, simple life, or there is nothing that we need so much in order to behold God as a selfcontrolled life. In the same vein Paul wrote, “Pursue peace with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” He is here speaking of such sight as it is possible for one to have. For there are many who show mercy, who refuse to rob others and who are not covetous but who still may remain entangled in sins like fornication and licentiousness. Jesus adds these words to indicate that the former virtues do not suffice in and of themselves. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, bore witness concerning the Macedonians, who were rich not only in almsgiving but also in the rest of the virtues. For having spoken of the generous spirit they demonstrated ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
There are many who are not rapacious and greedy, but are generous in almsgiving, yet they fornicate and commit other uncleanliness. Christ commands, therefore, that along with the other virtues we should also be pure, that is, chaste and temperate, not only in the body, but in the heart as well. Without holiness, namely, chastity, no one will see the Lord. Just as a mirror will reflect images only if it is clean, so also only a pure soul admits the vision of God and the understanding of the Scriptures. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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