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The Eyes Are the Mirror of the Soul

Below, we present an anti-liberal commentary on a verse of Ecclesiasticus
by the great Fr. Cornelius a Lapide, the renowned exegete of the 17th century.

Fr. Cornelius a Lapide, S.J.

  • The attire of the body and the laughter of the teeth and the gait of the man show what he is. (Ecclesiasticus 19:27)
"Just as one discerns and knows a person by his appearance and way of being, one also knows the secret of a person’s soul by his face. The face of the hypocrite pretends to have humility, equity, and justice; however, if the prudent and wise man examines him long and attentively, he will detect the hypocrisy.

"The face, therefore, is the image of the heart, and the eyes are the mirror of the soul and its affections. One finds this principally in tumultuous and vile men who conceal their badness for a long time, but when they are distracted and unaware, it suddenly appears in their face and eyes. Therefore, the face and the eyes indicate the joy or sadness of the soul, its love or hatred; so also, honesty or treachery and hypocrisy."

(Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, Paris 1878, vol. 9, p. 541)


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Posted January 4, 2006
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