December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- The vengeful will suffer the LORD'S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.
- Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
- Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD?
- Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins?
- If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins?
- Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
- Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; of the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.
- Avoid strife and your sins will be fewer, for a quarrelsome man kindles disputes,
- Commits the sin of disrupting friendship and sows discord among those at peace.
- The more wood, the greater the fire, the more underlying it, the fiercer the fight; The greater a man's strength, the sterner his anger, the greater his power, the greater his wrath.
- Pitch and resin make fires flare up, and insistent quarrels provoke bloodshed.
- 1 If you blow upon a spark, it quickens into flame, if you spit on it, it dies out; yet both you do with your mouth!
- Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued, for they destroy the peace of many.
- A meddlesome tongue subverts many, and makes them refugees among the peoples; It destroys walled cities, and overthrows powerful dynasties.
- A meddlesome tongue can drive virtuous women from their homes and rob them of the fruit of their toil;
- Whoever heeds it has no rest, nor can he dwell in peace.
- A blow from a whip raises a welt, but a blow from the tongue smashes bones;
- Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by the tongue.
- Happy he who is sheltered from it, and has not endured its wrath; Who has not borne its yoke nor been fettered with its chain;
- For its yoke is a yoke of iron and its chains are chains of bronze!
- Dire is the death it inflicts, besides which even the nether world is a gain;
- It will not take hold among the just nor scorch them in its flame,
- But those who forsake the LORD will fall victims to it, as it burns among them unquenchably! It will hurl itself against them like a lion; like a panther, it will tear them to pieces.
- As you hedge round your vineyard with thorns, set barred doors over your mouth;
- As you seal up your silver and gold, so balance and weigh your words.
- Take care not to slip by your tongue and fall victim to your foe waiting in ambush.
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1 [12-26] Further treatment of sins of the tongue and their havoc; cf Sirach 5:12-6:1; 19:5-16; 20:17-25; 23:7-15. Gossips and the double-tongued destroy domestic peace (Sirach 28:12-16). The whip, the sword, chains, even the nether world, are not so cruel as the suffering inflicted by an evil tongue (Sirach 28:17-21). Not the just but those who forsake the LORD are victims of their evil tongues (Sirach 28:22, 23). Therefore, guard your mouth and tongue as you would guard treasure against an enemy (Sirach 28:24-26).
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