Sirach 22:21Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
21 Even if you draw your sword against a friend, do not despair, for there is a way back. 22 If you open your mouth against your friend, do not worry, for reconciliation is possible. But as for reviling, arrogance, disclosure of secrets, or a treacherous blow— in these cases any friend will take to flight. 23 Gain the trust of your neighbor in his poverty, so that you may rejoice with him in his prosperity. Stand by him in time of distress, so that you may share with him in his inheritance. 24 The vapor and smoke of the furnace precede the fire; so insults precede bloodshed. 25 I am not ashamed to shelter a friend, and I will not hide from him.
John Chrysostom Homily 40 on Acts
First, let us put away the things which are subversive of charity, and then we shall establish this. Let none be resentful, none be envious, none rejoicing in (others') misfortunes: these are the things that hinder love; well then, the things that make it are of the other sort. For it is not enough to put away the things that hinder; the things that establish must also be forthcoming. Now Sirach tells us the things that are subversive (of friendship), and does not go on to speak of the things which make union. Reproaching, he says, and revealing of a secret, and a treacherous wound. But in speaking of the men of those times, these things might well be named, seeing they were carnal: but in our case, God forbid they should be (even) named. Not from these things do we bring our inducements for you, but from the others. For us, there is nothing good without friendship. Let there be good things without number, but what is the benefit — be it wealth, be it luxury — without friendship? No possession equal to this, even in matters of this life, just as there is nothing worse than men hating (us).
Notes and References
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