regagne a lui-meme

I’ve returned to Benedict this week: always the best guide when trying to balance life.

Ester de Waal mentions a prayer at Benedict’s shrine at Fleury, which begins:

today we see the person ‘qui est sorti de sa maison et qui a perdu la clé pour y entrer. Benoît, ton message est une invitation a l’interiorité. Ton expérience est celle de l’homme regagné a lui-même. Benoît, apprend-nous le retour au coeur.’

de Waal laments the fact that the French is richer, then offers us a translation no better than this:

Today, we are far from home and have lost the key to the door. But you call us to go in and find ourselves again. It is an invitation to interiority. Your experience is that of a person who regains their sense of themselves. Benedict, teach us the return to the heart.

Ester de Waal
A Life-Giving Way

Now, is the French really as much lovelier as it seems, or is my poor French allowing me to read into it what I wish?

It is hard to name the difference (différance?) yet one is enticing, and the other feels awkward and dull.

How do we dare read scripture in translation?

7 thoughts on “regagne a lui-meme”

  1. We dare not – look what last week’s translation did to ‘meno’ (abide).

    One of the things the church needs to look to is increased ‘cost’ of membership – and one cost we need to ask our ordinands in training to bear is learning at least Greek. However we are not going to. We are doing the opposite and will presently enter a new dark age.

  2. It seems a rather clunky translation, that’s all. I agree those ordinands who are that way inclined might well find Greek, Hebrew and other languages valuable, but there is room in the light for those whose talents lie in other directions IMO.

  3. Actually, everybody of average intelligence can learn another language. I am not asking that all our ordinands excel in Greek – just learn it. If their main talent lies in another direction fine – great. But if we don’t have an educated clergy we are all impoverished.

    Och, Kimberly, if you want to, you can easily brush it up! I bet if you need to stumble through a passage and understand it, you still can!

  4. I spent the time and effort working on both Greek and Hebrew. I was’t good at it. Often I did not enjoy it. However, I’m glad I did it.

    I’d say that the Hebrew is more important than the Greek, but perhaps that is just a way of saying that it opened up a whole new world to me for which I’m grateful.

    Having said that, I don’t think that a knowledge of Greek is necessary in all cases for those being ordained. However, I do think that a [Scottish] BD or equivalent should be what we think of as the educational standard for anyone being ordained. That, interestingly, is what General Synod voted for when it voted for New Century, New Directions

  5. Would those so blessedly endowed with French, feel inclined to give those of us without it an alternative translation?

    As for the question picked up by others, surely we dare because we have to, or because it beats the alternative (not reading them at all – do we really want to go back to an age where the scriptures were only available to the educated elite?) but I have greatly benefited from those clergy who have glossed passages based on the original Greek or Hebrew and sometimes even just a word or two makes a world of differance (thanks Jacques). Spiritual food indeed. Any loss of such knowledge is indeed impoverishing.

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