St. Anselm, Oratio IX: Translation Draft

Here’s the Latin text of one of St. Anselm’s more famous prayers, Oratio IX Ad Deum:

Omnipotens Deus, et misericors Pater, et bone Domine, miserere mihi peccatori.

Da mihi veniam peccatorum meorum, cavere et vincere omnes insidias, et tentationes et delectationes noxias, perfecte mente et actu vitare, quae prohibes, facere et servare quae jubes, credere, sperare, amare, velle quod et quantum et tu scis et vis, compunctionem humilitatis et pietatis, discretam abstinentiam et carnis mortificationem, ad te amandum, orandum, laudandum, meditandum, ad omnem secundum te actum et cogitatum, puram, sobriam, devotam mentem, veracem et efficacem mandatorum tuorum notitiam, dilectionem, facilitatem et effectum, semper, Domine ad meliora cum humilitate proficere et nunquam deficere.

Ne commitas me, Domine, voluntati meae, nec humanae ignorantiae, aut infirmitati, neque meis meritis, nec ulli alii quam tuae piae dispositioni.

Sed tu ipse clementer dispone me et omnes cogitatus et actus meos in beneplacito tuo, ut fiat a me, et in me et de me, tua semper sola voluntas.

Libera me ab omni malo, et perduc me in vitam aeternam.



I use the Penguin Classics translation of this prayer to start many of my classes.  Lately I’ve had the impulse to create my own translation of this prayer and the others of his that I use.

Before I toss out the draft (below), note the insanely long second sentence as given by Migne.  I think this has to be taken as a list or inventory, but I have not settled on a format that best expresses this.  I considered setting off the items of the list with hyphens, and may try that in another draft.  Any format relying on spacing or page layout can’t show up well in wordpress without me using a picture, sadly.

Here’s what I have for now, field-tested with my students but once:

Almighty God, Merciful Father, Good Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Grant me:

  •                 Pardon of my sins
  •                 To beware and to overcome all snares, temptations, and harmful pleasures
  •                 Completely in mind and act to avoid whatever You forbid and to do and keep whatever You do bid
  •                 To believe, hope, love, and will whatever and as much as You know and will
  •                 Compunction of humility and piety, distinguished abstinence, and mortification of the flesh so as to love you, pray to you, praise you, meditate upon you, so that every act and thought be according to you
  •                 A pure, sober, and devoted mind
  •                 Truthful and effective knowledge of your commands and love of them, and ease with them, and the doing of them
  •                 Ever, O Lord, to go forth with humility to better things and never to grow slack.

Commit me not, O Lord, to my will, nor to human ignorance or weakness, nor even to my own merits, nor to anything other than Your [pious disposition].

But do You Yourself gently direct me and all my thoughts and acts in Your good pleasure, so that by me, in me, and concerning me, always and only shall Your will be done.

Free me from all evil and lead me into eternal life.



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