To Know What Ought To Be Known – To Love What Ought To Be Loved

Last July, I posted this prayer from Thomas à Kempis in contemplation of a new school year:

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights you most,
To value what is precious in your sight,
To hate what is offensive to you.

Do not allow me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant people;
But to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
And above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of your will. ~ Thomas à Kempis, On the Imitation of Christ, Book III.l

This was our opening prayer at Providence Prep for the last school year. In fact, we grew to love this so much, we drew from it our school motto: Scire quod sciendum et amare quod amandum—literally, to know what ought to be known and to love what ought to be loved. My good friend Jayme Metzgar created our beautiful logo, which you can see at the top of this post.

Here’s the original Latin prayer for my fellow Latin-philes:

Da mihi, Domine, scire quod sciendum est, hoc amare quod amandum est, hoc laudare quod tibi summe placet, hoc reputare quod tibi prætiosum apparet, hoc vituperare quod tibi sordescit. Non me sinas secundam visionem oculorum exteriorum judicare, neque secundum auditum aurium hominum imperitorum sententiare: sed in judicio vero de visibilibus et spiritualibus discernere atque super omnia voluntatem beneplaciti tui semper inquirere.


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