In which something becomes something else | Panis Angelicus

by Craig on February 27, 2014

Panis Angelicus fit panis hominum


There’s the Latin.
Where’s the English?

The first thing is to detect and translate the verb.
The only verb in that first line is “fit” (pronounced feet).

It’s the Latin verb “fieri”…
“to become, to be made, or to happen”.
Now which one does Aquinas have in mind?



Context rules out “to happen”.
The subject of the sentence does not “happen”.
Grammar might happen, or did happen, or is happening.
But a person wouldn’t, didn’t, or isn’t happening.


Plus, this verb in this sentence has a direct object…
so that means that it would mean  X happens to Y…
something like “Grammar happens to theologians”.

So in context, “happen” doesn’t sound right and doesn’t makes sense.

But the idea of the subject of the sentence “becoming” or “being made into” something else might make sense. So that’s the meaning.

Someone or something (the subject)…
is becoming, or being made into (the verb)…
something else (the direct object).

grammar will “happen” …

 grammatica erit

oh, and “erit”…
it’s the future active indicative 3rd person singular form of the verb “fieri”…
the verb in question in this, the very first line of…

Panis Angelicus…

in which “fieri” doesn’t mean “happen”…

as it does in my little Latin sentence.

In Panis Angelicus…
Something. Becomes. Something. Else.

There is more…
please come back.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando February 28, 2014 at 10:14 am

Awesome! I’ll be back! :) Blessings, my friend!


Craig March 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Martha, someone asked me the other day if there was anything in my life that was making me happy. Everything is still upside down and uncertain, and my brain is just being disobedient. But then, those are just circumstances. But my answer was pretty clear, even with the sleep thing I can still dig into the depths of God, it’s slower and harder without cooperation from the brain but I can still do it, and then I can put those thoughts together in some sort of coherent fashion, that’s slower and harder too – and it ends up in a post. This makes me happy. God bless, Martha.


debra elramey March 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Thinking of you dear Craig. Like Martha, I miss you! Really, really miss ;-( It makes me sad to wonder where you are. Where are you, btw? I’m on a long long blogging sabbatical because God told me to go to a lonely place apart so I could hear him. But you? Where have you been friend? You are dear to God’s and my heart, and don’t you forget it.
Email me anytime if you still have my address. I’ll be here if you need a friend.


Katie February 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm

:) So over my head, translating. Glad it is something I can learn from you translating instead of me. You know what struck me and spoke to my heart today…. “But the idea of the subject of the sentence “becoming” or “being made into” something else might make sense.” This reminded me of the journey I am on with Christ. Christ constantly helping me to change and become able to give more grace.


Craig March 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Katie, translating is really pretty easy, it’s just the root of the word and then what comes before it and what comes after it and a little context that tells you what kind of word is and what it says. It’s all just kind of like a puzzle. It’s not over your head, to use a different metaphor maybe it’s “not your cup of tea” – but NOT over your head – and I say that with a smile. And this whole thing about becoming – exactly what you are thinking here – changing, becoming able to give more grace – when I wrote that last sentence – that’s exactly what I was thinking. And if our unchanging God became human and allowed change to happen (LK 2:52) then how can we not also change, grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God (if not man). God bless you Katie.


willow February 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Again you have nourished my mind and my heart. More, more soon, please.
Praying for you daily.


Craig March 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

there is so much I could learn from you. So different. So the same. I have so much respect for you and gratitude.Thank you grandma Joyce —- ooops I meant to say willow.ッ


Liz Eberle March 4, 2014 at 12:23 am

Amazing, dear Friend. I keep returning becUse it is here I learn and grow and it is here I can tell you that I pray for you like a river that is watered by Gods rain….rolling on without ceasing.


Craig March 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm

learning and growing and changing and accepting change. Thank you for showing up Liz. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your prayer. this river needs water. Not very much brings me earthly joy right now but researching Aquinas and his hymn, and translating it and reading his theology and writing it here and having you read my words – that brings me earthly joy. Thank you. God bless you, Liz.


A. March 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Craig, what gifts, those many years ago, when you were able to go to seminary, and now as you are able to share with us in the unique way that you do so well.


Craig March 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm

this brain doesn’t study now like it used to, so it’s good that I got a chance to soak up so much God in such a short period of time. I agree with you. Never becoming a pastor after seminary, that seems a bit of a failure, but going and studying and learning, it’s an irreplaceable thing. I’m smiling now, by the way, because I’m remembering your very first comment something about reading with eyes closed. God bless you A.


A. July 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Thinking of you; praying…you have gifts. Precious gifts. Sometimes we just have to take time-outs, don’t we? I hope you are finding the refreshment and healing you need at this time, Craig. (Hope Laska is taking good care of you, too! :)


Craig August 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm

One of my most precious memories from my time of blogging is this person who followed me over from another blog (I forget the name but the writer was Catholic and she was snarky) and then that person read their first post with their eyes closed :-) Thank you for your kind words A. I’ve been writing a lot. I’m not sure where I’m going to go with all of it. First the bunnies damaged the garden, and then those seven days with no sleep finished it off. I’m not exactly sure what’s ahead. But I am awfully glad that you are still in my corner. Laska stopped walking with me for almost a year. Dogs began living in the apartments close by and he was “havingz uv beeing skayrd” so for almost a year we didn’t go on walks. The good news is we are now “havingz uv walkingz” again. God bless you A. I’ll post something soon.


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