Cur taceam quae dicitis? ad quid celem quod proditis? cur abscondo quod facitis? matres vos divulgatis, filium me fateor. gratias ago: filium me genuistis cum Christianum me fecistis, tu per te ipsum, et tu per eundem ipsum: tu per doctrinam a te factam, et tu per doctrinam tibi inspiratam: tu per gratiam a te mihi concessam, et tu per gratiam ab illo acceptam. Paule mater, et te ipse genuit. pone ergo filium tuum mortuum ante pedes Christi matris tuae, quia filius eius est. immo iacta illum in sinum pietatis eius, quia plus ipse mater est. ora ut resuscitet mortuum filium, non tam tuum, quam suum. ora pro filio tuo quia mater es, ut vivificet filium suum, quia mater est. fac, mater animae meae, quod faceret mater carnis meae. utique si speraret, oraret quantum posset, nec cessaret donec impetraret si posset. certe si vis, non potes desperare; et si oras, potes impetrare. insta ergo ut anima mortua, quam tu vivam peperisti, vitae restituatur, nec cesses donec tibi viva reddatur. tu quoque, anima mortua per te ipsam, curre sub alas Iesus matris tuae, et conquerere sub pennis eius dolores tuos. postula ut plagas tuas confoveat, et ut confotis vita redeat. Christe mater, qui congregas sub alas pullos tuos, mortuus hic pullus tuus subiicit se sub alas tuas. nam lenitate tua exterriti confoventur, odore tuo desperantes reformantur. calor tuus mortuos vivificat, attactus tuus peccatores iustificat. agnosce, mater, filium tuum mortuum, vel per signum crucis tuae, vel per vocem confessionis tuae. refove pullum tuum, resuscita mortuum tuum, iustifica peccatorem tuum. exterritus tuus a te consoletur, a se desperans a te confortetur, et in integram et inseparabilem gratiam tuam per te reformetur. a te namque fluit consolatio miserorum, qui sis benedictus in saecula saeculorum. amen.
(Anselm of Canterbury, Oratio 10 ad Sanctum Paulum)
Why should I be silent about what you have said?
Why should I conceal what you have revealed?
Why should I hide what you have done?
You have revealed yourselves as mothers;
I know myself to be a son.
I give thanks that you brought me forth as a son
when you made me a Christian:
you, Lord, by yourself, you, Paul, through him;
you by the doctrine you made,
you by the doctrine breathed into you.
You by the grace you have granted to me,
you by the grace you accepted from him.
Paul, my mother, Christ bore you also;
so place your dead son at the feet of Christ, your mother,
because he also is Christ’s son.
Rather, throw him into the heart of Christ’s goodness,
for Christ is even more his mother.
Pray that he will give life to a dead son,
who is not so much yours as his.
St. Paul, pray for your son, because you are his mother,
that the lord, who is his mother too,
may give life to his son.
Do, mother of my soul,
what the mother of my flesh would do.
At least, if I may hope, I may pray as much as I can;
nor cease until I obtain what I can.
Certainly, if you will, you need not despair;
and if you pray, you are able to obtain.
Ask then, that this dead soul which you brought to life,
may be restored to life,
nor cease until he is given back to you, living.
And you, my soul, dead in yourself,
run under the wings of Jesus your mother
and lament your griefs under his feathers.
Ask that your wounds may be healed
and that, comforted, you may live again.
Christ, my mother,
you gather your chickens under your wings;
this dead chicken of yours puts himself under those wings.
For by your gentleness the badly frightened are comforted,
by your sweet smell the despairing are revived,
your warmth gives life to the dead,
your touch justifies sinners.
Mother, know again your dead son,
both by the sign of your cross and the voice of his confession.
Warm your chicken, give life to your dead man, justify your sinner.
Let your terrified one be consoled by you;
despairing of himself, let him be comforted by you.
and in your whole and unceasing grace
let him be refashioned by you.
For from you flows consolation for sinners;
to you the blessing for ages and ages. Amen.
(tr. Benedicta Ward)