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Matthew 6:23

But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Otherwise; by the eye here we may understand our purpose; if that be pure and right, all our works which we work according thereto are good. These He he recalls the body, as the Apostle speaks of certain works as members; “Mortify your members, fornication and uncleanness.” But the deeds themselves, which go forth tomen’s society, have a result to us uncertain, and therefore He calls them darkness; as when I give money to one in need, I know not what he will do withit.If then the purport of your heart, which you can know, is defiled with the lust of temporal things, much more is the act itself, of which the issue is uncertain, defiled. For even though one should reap good of what you do with a purport not good, it will be imputed to you as you did it, not as it resulted to him. If however our works are done with asingle purport, that is with the aim of charity, then are they pure and pleasing in God’s sight. cont. Mendac., 7: But acts which are known to be in themselves sins, are not t...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
It is not, therefore, what one does, but the intent with which he does it, that is to be considered. For this is the light in us, because it is a thing manifest to ourselves that we do with a good intent what we are doing; for everything which is made manifest is light. For the deeds themselves which go forth from us to human society, have an uncertain issue; and therefore He has called them darkness. For I do not know, when I present money to a poor man who asks it, either what he is to do with it, or what he is to suffer from it; and it may happen that he does some evil with it, or suffers some evil on account of it, a thing I did not wish to happen when I gave it to him, nor would I have given it with such an intention. If, therefore, I did it with a good intention,— a thing which was known to me when I was doing it, and is therefore called light—my deed also is lighted up, whatever issue it shall have; but that issue, inasmuch as it is uncertain and unknown, is called darkness. But...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
We know that all our works are pure and pleasing in the sight of God if they are performed with a single heart. This means that they are performed out of charity and with an intention that is fixed on heaven. For “love is the fulfillment of the law.” Therefore in this passage we ought to understand the eye as the intention with which we perform all our actions. If this intention is pure and upright and directing its gaze where it ought to be directed, then unfailingly all our works are good works, because they are performed in accordance with that intention. And by the expression “whole body,” Christ designated all those works that he reproves and that he commands us to put to death. For the apostle also designates certain works as our “members.” “Therefore,” Paul writes, “mortify your members which are on earth: fornication, uncleanness, covetousness,” and all other such things. . ...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Mor., xxviii, 11: Otherwise; if the light that “is in thee,” that is, if what we have begun to do well, we overcloud with evil purpose, when we do things which we know to be in themselves evil, “how great is the darkness!”
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Jerome

AD 420
That is an illustration drawn from the senses. As the whole body is in darkness, where the eye is not single, so if the soul has lost her original brightness, every sense, or that whole part of the soul to which sensation belongs, will abide in darkness. Wherefore He says, “If then the light which is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” that is, if the senses which are the soul’s light be darkened by vice, in how great darkness do you suppose the darkness itself will be wrapped?. Those who have thick eye-sight see the lights multiplied; but the single and clear eye sees them single and clear. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
It seems that He is not here speaking of the bodily eye, or of the outward body that is seen, or He would have said, If thine eye be sound, or weak; but He says, “single,” and, “evil.” But if one have a benign yet diseased eye, is his body therefore in light? Or if an evil yet a sound, is his body therefore in darkness?. Or; The eye He speaks of is not the external but the internal eye. The light is the understanding, through which the soul sees God. He whose heart is turned to God, has an eye full of light; that is, his understanding is pure, not distorted by the influence of worldly lusts. The darkness in us is our bodily senses, which always desire the things that pertain to darkness.Whoso then has a pure eye, that is, aspiritual understanding, preserves his body in light, that is, without sin; for though the flesh desires evil, yet by the might of divine fear the soul resist sit. But whoever has an eye, that is, an understanding, either darkened by the influence of the malignant pa...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He leads His discourse to the things which are more within the reach of our senses. I mean, forasmuch as He had spoken of the mind as enslaved and brought into captivity, and there were not many who could easily discern this, He transfers the lesson to things outward, and lying before men's eyes, that by these the others also might reach their understanding. Thus, If you know not, says He, what a thing it is to be injured in mind, learn it from the things of the body; for just what the eye is to the body, the same is the mind to the soul. As therefore you would not choose to wear gold, and to be clad in silken garments, your eyes withal being put out, but accountest their sound health more desirable than all such superfluity (for, should you lose this health or waste it, all your life besides will do you no good): for just as when the eyes are blinded, most of the energy of the other members is gone, their light being quenched; so also when the mind is depraved, your life will be fille...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Now Christ leads us to an analogy more within the reach of our senses, that we may not be confused. He has already spoken of the mind as enslaved in captivity. Now he shifts his attention to the eye and to lessons on outward things lying directly before our eyes, so that we might grasp it easily and that we may learn from the body what we did not learn from the mind. For what the mind is to the soul, the eye is to the body. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
If your eyes were completely blind, would you choose to wear gold and silk? Wouldn’t you consider your sound health to be more desirable than mere externals? For if you should lose your health or waste it, all the rest of your life would be unhappily affected. For just as when the eyes are blinded, some of the ability of the other members is diminished, their light being quenched, so also when the mind is depraved, your life will be filled with countless evils. As therefore in the body it is our aim to keep the eye sound, so also it should be our aim to keep the mind sound in relation to the soul. But if we destroy this, which ought to give light to the rest, by what means are we to see clearly any more? For as he who destroys the spring may also dry up the river, so he who has quenched the understanding may have confounded all his actions in this life. So it is said, “If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is the darkness?” For when the pilot is drowned, when the candle is...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. This means, if you fill your mind with worries over money, you have extinguished the lamp and darkened your soul. For just as the eye that is "sound" or "healthy" brings light to the body, and the eye that is "evil" or "diseased" brings darkness, so also does the state of the mind affect the soul. If the mind is blinded by these worries, it is cast into darkness; then the soul becomes dark, and how much more so the body as well? ...
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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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