Friday, February 23, 2018
Erasmus, Complaint of Peace
18 (tr. Betty Radice):
Tell me, how can the soldier during divine worship pray in the words
'Our Father'? What impudence, to dare call on God as Father, when you
are making for your brother's throat! 'Hallowed be thy name.' How could the
name of God be less hallowed than by your violence towards each other?
'Thy kingdom come.' Is this how you pray, when you are planning so much
bloodshed to get a kingdom for yourself? 'Thy will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven.' But God's will is for peace, and you are preparing for war. Do you
ask for daily bread from our common Father when you burn your brother's
crops and would prefer them to be lost to you rather than to benefit him? And
then, how can you say 'Forgive us the debts we owe, as we forgive those
who are indebted to us,' you who are hurrying to murder your kin? You pray
to be spared the danger of being put to the test, but you risk danger to
yourself so that you can endanger your brother. Do you beg to be delivered
from the evil one while you are plotting the worst of evils against your
brother at his prompting?
Quaeso, quid in hisce sacris orat miles, Pater noster? Os durum, audes eum appellare Patrem, qui fratris tui iugulum petis? Sanctificetur nomen tuum. Qui magis dehonestari poterat nomen Dei, quam istiusmodi inter vos tumultibus? Adveniat regnum tuum. Sic oras, qui tanto sanguine tyrannidem tuam moliris? Fiat voluntas tua, quemadmodum in coelo, ita et in terra. Pacem vult ille, et tu bellum paras? Panem quotidianum a communi Patre petis, qui fraternas exuris segetes, et tibi quoque mavis perire, quam illi prodesse? Iam quonam ore dices illud? Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris, qui ad parricidium festinas? Deprecaris periculum tentationis, qui tuo periculo fratrem in periculum pertrahis? A malo liberari postulas, cuius instinctu summum malum fratri machinaris?