When one builds and another tears down,
what do they gain but hard work?
When one prays and another curses,
to whose voice will the Lord listen?
If one washes after touching a corpse, and touches it again,
what has been gained by washing?
So if one fasts for his sins,
and goes again and does the same things,
who will listen to his prayer?
And what has he gained by humbling himself?
Sirach 34:28-31 (NRSV-C)