Friday, June 15, 2012

"Wisdom of Sirach" in Times of Distress

As a supplement to my formal education in the Anglican tradition, last fall I completed all of the education required to be confirmed into the Catholic faith. 

As I have become acquainted with the Catholicism, I've noticed that often priests encourage parishioners to read the 2nd Chapter of the Wisdom of Sirach in times of distress. Below I've transcribed Sirach Chapter 2 1-11:

Duties toward God

1 My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.
2 Be sincere of heart and steadfast , undisturbed in time of adversity.
3 Cling to him, forsake him not; thus your future will be great.
4 Accept whatever befalls you in crushing misfortune be patient;
5 For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
6 Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.

7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
9 You who fear the Lord hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
10 Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? Has anyone call upon Him and been rebuffed?
11 Compassionate and merciful is the Lord; he forgives sin, he saves in time of trouble. […]

A vowelized Hebrew translation of Ben Sira from the ancient translations into Greek and Syriac (Septuagint and Peshitta), accompanied by the Syriac text (in Hebrew letters) and a translation into modern German (also in Hebrew letters). Source: Wikimedia Commons 

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