December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Rely not on your wealth; say not: "I have the power."
- Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart.
- Say not: "Who can prevail against me?" for the LORD will exact the punishment.
- Say not: "I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?" for the LORD bides his time.
- Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.
- Say not: "Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive."
- For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath.
- Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day;
- For suddenly his wrath flames forth; at the time of vengeance, you will be destroyed.
- Rely not upon deceitful wealth, for it will be no help on the day of wrath.
- 2 Winnow not in every wind, and start not off in every direction.
- 3 Be consistent in your thoughts; steadfast be your words.
- Be swift to hear, but slow to answer.
- If you have the knowledge, answer your neighbor; if not, put your hand over your mouth.
- Honor and dishonor through talking! A man's tongue can be his downfall.
- Be not called a detractor; use not your tongue for calumny;
- For shame has been created for the thief, and the reproach of his neighbor for the double-tongued.
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1 [1-10] The vices of the rich are pride and independence (Sirach 5:1-2), presumption (Sirach 5:3), false security (Sirach 5:4-7), and impenitence (Sirach 5:8), which cannot escape the divine wrath (Sirach 5:9, 10). Cf Proverb 18:23; 19:1; 28:6.
2  A proverbial expression condemning inconstancy and advocating sincerity and honesty.
3 [5:12-6:1] Proper use of the tongue requires constancy in speech (Sirach 5:12), prudence (Sirach 5:13-14), reserve (Sirach 5:15), charity (Sirach 6:1), as well as the avoidance of detraction, calumny (Sirach 6:16), and double talk, which bring shame and disgrace (Sirach 5:15; 6:1).
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