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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 41

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1O death! how bitter the thought of you* for the man at peace amid his possessions, For the man unruffled and always successful, who still can enjoy life’s pleasures. 2O death! how welcome your sentence to the weak man of failing strength, Tottering and always rebuffed, with no more sight, with vanished hope. l Sir 30, 17 . 3Fear not death’s decree for you; remember, it embraces those before you, and those after. m Sir 38, 20ff . 4Thus God has ordained for all flesh; why then should you reject the will of the Most High? Whether one has lived a thousand years, a hundred, or ten, in the nether world he has no claim on life.

5A reprobate line are the children of sinners, n 5ff: Sir 3, 9ff; Wis 3, 16–19 . and witless offspring are in the homes of the wicked. 6Their dominion is lost to sinners’ children, and reproach abides with their descendants. 7Children curse their wicked father, for they suffer disgrace through him. 8Woe to you, O sinful men, who forsake the law of the Most High. 9If you have children, calamity will seize them; you will beget them only for groaning. When you stumble, there is lasting joy; at death, you become a curse. 10Whatever is of nought returns to nought, so too the godless from void to void. o Sir 40, 11; Wis 4, 19 . 11Man’s body is a fleeting thing, but a virtuous name will never be annihilated. p Prv 10, 7 . 12Have a care for your name, for it will stand by you better than precious treasures in the thousands; q Prv 22, 1; Eccl 7, 1 . 13The boon of life is for limited days, but a good name, for days without number.*

True and False Shame*

14My children, heed my instruction about shame; judge of disgrace only according to my rules, For it is not always well to be ashamed, nor is it always the proper thing to blush: 15Before father and mother be ashamed of immorality, before master and mistress, of falsehood; 16Before prince and ruler, of flattery; before the public assembly, of crime; 17Before friend and companion, of disloyalty, and of breaking an oath or agreement. 18Be ashamed of theft from the people where you settle, and of stretching out your elbow when you dine; 19Of refusing to give when asked, of defrauding another of his appointed share, 20Of failing to return a greeting, and of rebuffing a friend; 21Of gazing at a married woman, and of entertaining thoughts about another’s wife; r Sir 9, 8; Mt 5, 28 . Of trifling with a servant girl you have, and of violating her couch; 22Of using harsh words with friends, and of following up your gifts with insults; s Sir 18, 14; 20, 13 . 23Of repeating what you hear, and of betraying secrets— t Sir 27, 16 . 24These are the things you should rightly avoid as shameful if you would be looked upon by everyone with favor.

Notes:

l: Sir 30, 17 .

m: Sir 38, 20ff .

n: 5ff: Sir 3, 9ff; Wis 3, 16–19 .

o: Sir 40, 11; Wis 4, 19 .

p: Prv 10, 7 .

q: Prv 22, 1; Eccl 7, 1 .

r: Sir 9, 8; Mt 5, 28 .

s: Sir 18, 14; 20, 13 .

t: Sir 27, 16 .

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