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Matthew 6:16

Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
There follows a precept concerning fasting, having reference to that same purification of heart which is at present under discussion. For in this work also we must be on our guard, lest there should creep in a certain ostentation and hankering after the praise of man, which would make the heart double, and not allow it to be pure and single for apprehending God. It is manifest from these precepts that all our effort is to be directed towards inward joys, lest, seeking a reward from without, we should be conformed to this world, and should lose the promise of a blessedness so much the more solid and firm, as it is inward, in which God has chosen that we should become conformed to the image of His Son. But in this section it is chiefly to be noticed, that there may be ostentatious display not merely in the splendour and pomp of things pertaining to the booty, but also in doleful squalor itself; and the more dangerous on this account, that it deceives under the name of serving God. And ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm. in Mont., ii, 12: On this paragraph it is to be specially noted, that not only in outward splendor and pomp, but even in the dress of sorrow and mourning, is there room for display, and that the more dangerous, inasmuch asit deceives under the name of God’s services. For he who by inordinate painstaken with her person, or his apparel, or by the glitter of his other equipage, is distinguished, is easily proved by these very circumstances to be a follower of the pomps of this world, and no man is deceived by any semblance of afeigned sanctity in him. But when any one in the profession of Christianity draws men’s eyes upon him by unwonted beggary and slovenliness in dress, if this be voluntary and not compulsory, then by his other conduct may be seen whether he does this to be seen of men, or from contempt of the refinements of dress. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
He condemns not public fasts as prescribed to the people of God, (Judges xx. 26.; 2 Esdras ix.; Joel ii. 15.; John iii.) but fasting through vain glory, and for the esteem of men. (Bristow)
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Mor., viii, 44: For by the pale countenance, the trembling limbs, and the bursting sighs, and by all so great toil and trouble, nothing is in the mind but the esteem of men.
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Jerome

AD 420
The word, “exterminare,” so often used in the ecclesiastical Scriptures thougha blunder of the translators, has a quite different meaning from that in which it is commonly understood. It is properly said of exiles who are sent beyond the boundry of their country. Instead of this word, it would seem better to use the word, “demoliri,” ‘to destroy,’ in translating the Greek . The hypocrite destroys his face, in order that he may feign sorrow, and with a heart full of joy wears sorrow in his countenance. ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Here it were well to sigh aloud, and to wail bitterly: for not only do we imitate the hypocrites, but we have even surpassed them. For I know, yea I know many, not merely fasting and making a display of it, but neglecting to fast, and yet wearing the masks of them that fast, and cloaking themselves with an excuse worse than their sin. For I do this, say they, that I may not offend the many. What do you say? There is a law of God which commands these things, and do you talk of offense? And do you think that in keeping it you are offending, in transgressing it, delivering men from offense? And what can be worse than this folly? Will you not leave off becoming worse than the very hypocrites, and making your hypocrisy double? And when you consider the great excess of this evil, will you not be abashed at the force of the expression now before us? In that He did not say, they act a part, merely, but willing also to touch them more deeply, He says, For they disfigure their faces; that ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Forasmuch as that prayer which is offered in a humble spirit and contrite heart, shows a mind already strong and disciplined; whereas he who is sunk in self-indulgence cannot have a humble spirit and contrite heart; it is plain that without fasting prayer must be faint and feeble; therefore, when any would pray for any need in which they might be, they joined fasting with prayer, because it is an aid thereof. Accordingly the Lord, after His doctrine respecting prayer, adds doctrine concerning fasting, saying, “When ye fast, benot ye as the hypocrites, of sad countenance.” The Lord knew that vanity may spring from every good thing, and therefore bids us root out the bramble of vain-gloriousness which springs in the good soil, that it choke not the fruit of fasting. For though it cannot be that fasting should not be discovered in any one, yet is it better that fasting should show you, than that you should hew your fasting. If then he who fasts, and makes himself of sad countenance, is a ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
In this spectacle we not only imitate the hypocrites, but also we far outdo them. We sigh loudly and complain bitterly. I know some, well—actually I know many—who, even while neglecting to fast, yet still wear the garments of those who fast. They cloak themselves with a false exoneration worse than their actual sin. “I do this,” they say, “so that I might not offend the many [who are expecting me to fast].” What are you saying? The divine law commands this [fasting], and yet you say you are causing “offense” by obeying? If you practice the inward fast you cause offense, but if you do not fast inwardly [but make a show of fasting outwardly], then quite the opposite, you are not causing offense—is there anything more foolish than this? Why don’t you stop being worse than the hypocrites [you criticize], doubling your own hypocrisy, and instead consider to what extremes this great evil leads? Do you feel any shame now, as we look at the emphasis [of the passage] before us? For Jesus not on...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
It is only after he has cast out the demon of empty conceit, and not before, that he opportunely introduces his discourse on voluntary poverty. For nothing so trains people to be fond of riches as a fondness for glory. This is what motivates those who have herds of slaves, swarms of eunuchs, horses with decorations of gold, silver tables, and all the rest of it. It makes them all the more ridiculous. All these do not satisfy any wants or increase any pleasures. They only make a show before others. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...
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Leo of Rome

AD 461
Serm. in Epiph., iv, 5: But that fasting is not pure, that comes not of reasons of continence, but of the arts of deceit.
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
The reward of the hypocrites’ fast is shewn, when it is added, “That they may seem to men to fast; verily I say unto you, They have their reward;” that is, that reward for which they looked.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
"Disfigurement of the face" is an artificial discoloration of the face, painting it pale, so that one does not appear as he really is, but feigns mournfulness.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. "Disfigurement of the face" is an artificial discoloration of the face, painting it pale, so that one does not appear as he really is, but feigns mournfulness.
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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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