Lord's Prayer 天主經 主禱文 翻譯 英譯 Translation - Vincent's Calligraphy

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Lord's Prayer
66 X 35cm
Click to enlarge.  Available in Shop
Lord's Prayer
66 X 35cm in Standard Script (楷書)

Historical Information
The Lord's Prayer is a prayer given directly to us by Lord Jesus when asked by a disciple on how one should pray to the almighty God, as suggested by Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2759):

Jesus "was praying at a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'"(Lk 11:1)  In response to this request the Lord entrusts to his disciples and to his Church the fundamental Christian prayer. St. Luke presents a brief text of five petitions(Cf. Lk 11:2-4), while St. Matthew gives a more developed version of seven petitions. The liturgical tradition of the Church has retained St. Matthew's text (Cf. Mt 6:9-13).

The Catholic version of the Lord's Prayer was first translated to classical Chinese (文言文) by Matteo Ricci (利瑪竇, 1552-1610AD) with the aid of other scholars such as Xu Guangqi (徐光啓, 1568-1633AD).  Subsequently, a version written in vernacular Chinese (白話文) was published in Chinese version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The calligraphy written above represented the Catholic vernacular Chinese version of the Lord's Prayer.

The Chinese texts inside the brackets represent the classical Chinese translation (文言文) of the Lord's Prayer by Matteo Ricci while the Chinese texts outside the brackets represent the vernacular Chinese (白話文) translation of the Lord's Prayer currently used in the Chinese Catholic Churches.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Personal Comments
The Lord's Prayer is "truly the summary of all gospels"(1), as St. Augustine (354-430AD) once wrote,

"Run through all the words of the holy prayers [in Scripture], and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord's Prayer" - St. Augustine, Ep. 130,12,22:PL 33,503.
"The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. . . . In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them." - St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,83,9.

It is therefore evident the Lord's Prayer is the most important prayer in Christianity as its content wholy summarizes the message delivered by the Four Gospels: putting God's will first while personal desires last in additional to praying for mercy from our Lord.  As the The Most Reverend Savio Hon Tai-fai (Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Vatican) rightly noted, "Such is the gist of the Gospels: The mortal ones have their own will and desires, while God has God's own will and desires; if one choses to follow God's desires, then one shall effortlessly fulfill all of one's desires (這是福音: 人有人意,天有天意,順得天意,自能如意)" (2).

What is God's will then?  Jesus told us to protect the weak, help the poor, act with justice (Matthew 25:31-46) and stay away from the temptation of worldly goods and powers(Matthew 6:24).  In Christianity, the downfall of humans is attributed to putting personal desires first and God's words second, as indicated in the very first Chapter of the Bible, Genesis, where Adam and Eve chose to satisfy their own personal desires rather than obeying God's will (Genesis 3:1-12 ).  Theologically speaking, therefore, one can even argue that all pain and suffering (痛苦及不如意) is derived from the unnecessary and never-ending desires for worldly goods and power, as materialistic desires are endless and can never be completely satisfied.  Hence, the salvation offered by Jesus is dependent on our realization that we must leave these desires behind and follow God's will so that, by the mercy of our Lord, we can receive true joy and happiness through helping others and ultimately earning His peace into our hearts so that we can return safely to our Heavenly home after our resurrection.   

KS Vincent Poon, June 10, 2017

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