December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- If you are chosen to preside at dinner, be not puffed up, but with the guests be as one of themselves; Take care of them first before you sit down;
- when you have fulfilled your duty, then take your place, To share in their joy and win praise for your hospitality.
- Being older, you may talk; that is only your right, but temper your wisdom, not to disturb the singing.
- When wine is present, do not pour out discourse, and flaunt not your wisdom at the wrong time.
- Like a seal of carnelian in a setting of gold is a concert when wine is served.
- Like a gold mounting with an emerald seal is string music with delicious wine.
- Young man, speak only when necessary, when they have asked you more than once;
- Be brief, but say much in those few words, be like the wise man, taciturn.
- When among your elders be not forward, and with officials be not too insistent.
- Like the lightning that flashes before a storm is the esteem that shines on modesty.
- When it is time to leave, tarry not; be off for home! There take your ease,
- And there enjoy doing as you wish, but without sin or words of pride.
- Above all, give praise to your Creator, who showers his favors upon you.
- 1 He who would find God must accept discipline; he who seeks him obtains his request.
- He who studies the law masters it, but the hypocrite finds it a trap.
- His judgment is sound who fears the LORD; out of obscurity he draws forth a clear plan.
- The sinner turns aside reproof and distorts the law to suit his purpose.
- The thoughtful man will not neglect direction; the proud and insolent man is deterred by nothing.
- Do nothing without counsel, and then you need have no regrets.
- Go not on a way that is set with snares, and let not the same thing trip you twice.
- Be not too sure even of smooth roads,
- be careful on all your paths.
- Whatever you do, be on your guard, for in this way you will keep the commandments.
- He who keeps the law preserves himself; and he who trusts in the LORD shall not be put to shame.
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1 [32:14-33:4] God is shown to reveal himself through the discipline of his law, a clear and safe plan of life for the pious Jew of old. Direction and counsel are aids in following it (Sirach 32:14-16, 18-24; 33:1, 3, 4). Sinners and hypocrites, hating the law or distorting it, fail in wisdom and are devoid of security (Sirach 32:15, 17-18; 33:2).
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