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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 31

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The Proper Attitude toward Riches*

1Keeping watch over riches wastes the flesh, and the care of wealth drives away rest. 2Concern for one’s livelihood banishes slumber; more than a serious illness it disturbs repose.* 3The rich man labors to pile up wealth, and his only rest is wanton pleasure; 4The poor man toils for a meager subsistence, and if ever he rests, he finds himself in want. 5The lover of gold will not be free from sin, for he who pursues wealth is led astray by it. 6Many have been ensnared by gold, though destruction lay before their eyes; p Sir 8, 2 . 7It is a stumbling block to those who are avid for it, a snare for every fool.

8Happy the rich man found without fault,* who turns not aside after gain! q Sir 5, 1. 10 . 9Who is he, that we may praise him? he, of all his kindred, has done wonders, 10For he has been tested by gold and come off safe, and this remains his glory; He could have sinned but did not, could have done evil but would not, 11So that his possessions are secure, and the assembly recounts his praises. r Prv 29, 14 .

Table Etiquette*

12If you are dining with a great man, bring not a greedy gullet to his table, Nor cry out, “How much food there is here!” 13Remember that gluttony is evil. No creature is greedier than the eye: therefore it weeps for any cause. s Sir 37, 28ff; Prv 23, 1f . 15Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do, and keep in mind your own dislikes: 14Toward what he eyes, do not put out a hand; nor reach when he does for the same dish. 16Behave at table like a favored guest, and be not greedy, lest you be despised. 17Be the first to stop, as befits good manners; gorge not yourself, lest you give offense. t Sir 37, 29 . 18If there are many with you at table, be not the first to reach out your hand. 19Does not a little suffice for a well-bred man? When he lies down, it is without discomfort. u Eccl 5, 11 . 20Distress and anguish and loss of sleep, and restless tossing for the glutton! Moderate eating ensures sound slumber and a clear mind next day on rising. 21If perforce you have eaten too much, once you have emptied your stomach,* you will have relief. 22Listen to me, my son, and scorn me not; later you will find my advice good. In whatever you do, be moderate, and no sickness will befall you. 23On a man generous with food, blessings are invoked, and this testimony to his goodness is lasting; v Prv 22, 9 . 24He who is miserly with food is denounced in public, and this testimony to his stinginess is lasting. 25Let not wine-drinking be the proof of your strength, for wine has been the ruin of many. 26As the furnace probes the work of the smith, so does wine the hearts of the insolent. 27Wine is very life to man if taken in moderation. Does he really live who lacks the wine which was created for his joy? w Ps 104, 15; 1 Tm 5, 23 . 28Joy of heart, good cheer and merriment are wine drunk freely at the proper time. 29Headache, bitterness and disgrace is wine drunk amid anger and strife. 30More and more wine is a snare for the fool; it lessens his strength and multiplies his wounds. 31Rebuke not your neighbor when wine is served, nor put him to shame while he is merry; Use no harsh words with him and distress him not in the presence of others.

Notes:

p: Sir 8, 2 .

q: Sir 5, 1. 10 .

r: Prv 29, 14 .

s: Sir 37, 28ff; Prv 23, 1f .

t: Sir 37, 29 .

u: Eccl 5, 11 .

v: Prv 22, 9 .

w: Ps 104, 15; 1 Tm 5, 23 .

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