December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- For the sake of profit many sin, and the struggle for wealth blinds the eyes.
- Like a peg driven between fitted stones, between buying and selling sin is wedged in.
- Unless you earnestly hold fast to the fear of the LORD, suddenly your house will be thrown down.
- When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do a man's faults when he speaks.
- As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in his conversation is the test of a man.
- The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man's speech disclose the bent of his mind.
- Praise no man before he speaks, for it is then that men are tested.
- If you strive after justice you will attain it, and put it on like a splendid robe.
- Birds nest with their own kind, and fidelity comes to those who live by it.
- As a lion crouches in wait for prey, so do sins for evildoers.
- Ever wise are the discourses of the devout, but the godless man, like the moon, is inconstant.
- Limit the time you spend among fools, but frequent the company of thoughtful men.
- The conversation of the wicked is offensive, their laughter is wanton guilt.
- Their oath-filled talk makes the hair stand on end, their brawls make one stop one's ears.
- Wrangling among the haughty ends in bloodshed, their cursing is painful to hear.
- 1 He who betrays a secret cannot be trusted, he will never find an intimate friend.
- Cherish your friend, keep faith with him; but if you betray his confidence, follow him not;
- For as an enemy might kill a man, you have killed your neighbor's friendship.
- Like a bird released from the hand, you have let your friend go and cannot recapture him;
- Follow him not, for he is far away, he has fled like a gazelle from the trap.
- A wound can be bound up, and an insult forgiven, but he who betrays secrets does hopeless damage.
- He who has shifty eyes plots mischief and no one can ward him off;
- In your presence he uses honeyed talk, and admires your every word, But later he changes his tone and twists your words to your ruin.
- There is nothing that I hate so much, and the LORD hates him as well.
- As a stone falls back on him who throws it up, so a blow struck in treachery injures more than one.
- As he who digs a pit falls into it, and he who lays a snare is caught in it,
- Whoever does harm will be involved in it without knowing how it came upon him.
- Mockery and abuse will be the lot of the proud, and vengeance lies in wait for them like a lion.
- The trap seizes those who rejoice in pitfalls, and pain will consume them before they die;
- Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.
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1 [27:16-28:11] Betrayal of confidence through indiscretion destroys friendship and does irreparable harm (Sirach 27:16-21); cf Sirach 22:22. False friendship based on hypocrisy and deceit is hateful to God and man (Sirach 27:22-24); it soon becomes a victim of its own treachery (Sirach 27:25-27). The same fate awaits the malicious and vengeful (Sirach 27:28-28:1). They can obtain mercy and forgiveness only by first forgiving their neighbor, being mindful of death and of the commandments of the Most High (Sirach 28:2-7). And they must avoid quarrels and strife (Sirach 28:8-11).
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