Here is a passage in Ubi Caritas:

Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus. Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

The English translation translated the last as "And may Christ our God be in our midst". However, from my own understanding, the verb-to-be sit implies a narrative (something happens / something is happening), instead of a wish of "may (something happen)".

The Question: Why is there an "Et" for connecting "We should not .. we should do this and we should do that. And Christ is in the middle of us"?

P.S. Informative answers will be appreciated. Inferring both from the Latin grammar side and the real intention of the author may yield different results and I am happy to see both sides :) Biblical references are also welcomed if that aids explanation.

After some discussion with my friends, some said the "And" should be interpreted as a cause-and-effect connective:

Cause: We do this we do that.

Effect: So Christ is in the middle of us. And I used "Et" to connect these.

Or another way round:

Cause: Because Christ is in the middle of us.

Effect: So we should do this, we should do that.

What do you think?


"We ought not to have division..." and "We ought to beware ..." would be better translated by

Non oportet dividere
Cavere decet.

In this passage you have a series of Subjunctives, (with the same meaning as imperatives for the first and third person, I, we, he, she, it, they. Sometimes these are called Optatives, from optatio a wish)

Ne dividamur 'let us not be divided.'
caveamus, 'let us beware
Cessent 'let them cease,' 'may they cease.'

Sit means 'May he be...' it is another Subjunctive/ Optative. Et simply means 'and'

Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

And may Christ our God be in our midst.

  • Why is the possessive pronoun omitted ("Christus Deus")? Oct 7 '17 at 22:44
  • I do understand the translations necessarily need to accomodate, but what of the omission of the possessive pronoun, which seems to be in both Greek and Latin? Can you speak to why that is the case? Oct 8 '17 at 22:00
  • @Sola Gratia, Would it be better to write "In the midst of us" ? Is that better than "in our midst" ? I thought they were equivalent.
    – Hugh
    Oct 9 '17 at 2:09

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