I want a Latin motto conveying the idea that you have to ask God for something while at the same time pursuing it.
- I have two Spanish sayings that work pretty well
- I have a couple of Latin cites, that are a bit of an overkill
- I'd like preferently something attested in Ecclesiastical Latin, but I'm open to different flavors and/or to translations.
There are two popular sayings in Spanish about more or less the same subject:
- A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando (Strike with thy rod while thou beg to thy God, apparently derived from an episode in the life of St. Bernard. The rod, in that version, is a tool rather than a weapon.)
- A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda (God helps the one who wakes up early, first attested in El Lazarillo de Tormes.)
Although they admit other interpretations, they both convey the idea that, even if God needs no help from his creatures, He wants them (us) to do their (our) part like a father wants his son/daughter to show their genuine interest/willingness in what he/she is asking for. This has a number of theological implications and is closely related with the Catholic vision on the role of faith and works in salvation, an old matter of debate among Christians.
Let theology apart, I'm asking for a Latin version of these sayings. (Especially, but not limited to the first one.) If there is no fitting attested quote, a translation would be OK. I prefer if there is an Ecclesiastically-attested version, but a classical one is also OK.
For what it's worth, I found a few close English equivalents:
- Pray to God, but continue to row to the shore (of Russian origin, apparently.)
- God helps those who help themselves
- Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition [with a more ambiguous interpretation.]
What I've got, so far
The best cite I have is:
- Qui ergo fecit te sine te, non te iustificat sine te (St. Augustini Sermones, Sermo 169, 11)
- Sine voluntate tua non erit in te iustitia Dei (ibid.),
the problem is the subject of salvation is too explicit, and I want something that is also fit for smaller, more earthly things.
I can't decide a good translation either. (Especially, I like the rhyme and cadence in a Dios rogando..., but I can't get close to that.) Pushed to find something, a possible translation of mine could be:
Deo rogantes et malleo pulsantes,
the plural here is just to try to mimic the Spanish rhyme: rogando y dando are compatible with both plural and singular auxiliary verbs: Yo estoy rogando–I'm begging/nosotros estamos rogando–We're begging.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the alternative Deo rogando et malleo pulsando is missing a verb and sounds incomplete (even if it sounds much closer to Spanish.)