The Lord said: “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness”.
This means that the eye lightens not so much the outside world as its own body! And a completely sighted eye may be the reason that the whole “thy body is full of darkness”.
St. Dorotheus gives an example. A man is standing in the street. Someone passes by and thinks: “he is waiting for someone to rob”. Then another one passes by and thinks: “behold, a servant of God is waiting for a friend to go together to pray.” Because one has evil eye, and the other single eye. Or – another example. One bishop saw a well-known harlot passing by, and … started crying. “Look, – he said to his brethren, – how carefully this woman adorns herself to please her fans. Do we adorn ourselves with virtues with the same zeal to please the Heavenly Bridegroom?” Even when looking at the source of sin and temptation, the whole body of the saint was enlightened, and his will became even stronger to work for the Kingdom of Heaven. What does he say when he looks at those who succeed in good? Of course, he will exclaim with the Apostle: “For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God”!
And a man with an evil eye is defiled from everything. No matter what he looks at, dark passions come to life and swarm in him: either anger, or lust, or envy. The Pharisees were defiled even looking at the Lord Jesus, condemning Him for not performing the ritual washing of hands before eating. They themselves always washed their hands thoroughly, because for them everything around was nasty and unclean – their eyes were so evil, their “inward part” was so “full of ravening and wickedness”!
The Lord convicted them of this, and revealed what intention should be in the heart in order to look around with a single eye: “Rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you”. As soon as you learn to see in everything a reason for creating alms, all the dark charms will dissipate at once, the world will be transformed, and everything inside and around will “be full of light” “as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light”.
The same thing is with the example at the beginning. The second passerby truly wished to give alms ” of such things as he had”. As soon as he saw a man on the street, the first thing he did was give alms to him, even if he just thought of him in a kind manner.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds