Title Background

Thy Will Be Done: <i>Piers Plowman</i> and the Pater Noster.

Thy Will Be Done: Piers Plowman and the Pater Noster.

The emphasis, especially in the C text, on the Pater Noster is best understood in the prayer’s moral and catethetic context, in which such teachings provide a mnemonic framework for WL’s psychological model of willed selflessness, which serves to liberate the individual from worldly self-concern and become a vehicle for grace to pass into the wide community. Fiat voluntas tua is the message transmitted to Haukyn, who moves from errant sinner (B text) to misguided but well-meaning apprentice of Piers (C text). Commentary traditionally links fiat voluntas tua with wrath and envy, Haukyn’s “head sins,” and consistently names Patience the counteracting virtue. The link of Patience with Charity, another familiar extrapolation of the prayer-petition, is developed by Liberum Arbitrium in C.16.