O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. (The Book of Common Prayer, p.117).
In The Conferences by St. John Cassian, The Tenth Conference on Prayer, Abba Isaac said of the words above:
Not without reason has this verse been selected from out of the whole body of Scripture. For it takes up all the emotions that can be applied to human nature and with great correctness and accuracy it adjusts itself to every condition and every attack. It contains an invocation of God in the face of any crisis, the humility of a devout confession, a consciousness of one’s own frailty that assurance of being heard and confidence in a protection that is always present and at hand, for whoever calls unceasingly on his protector is sure that he is always present. It contains a burning love and charity, an awareness of traps, and a fear of enemies. Seeing oneself surrounded by these day and night, one confesses that one cannot be set free without the help of one’s defender. (Boniface Ramsey 1997, Newman Press, Page 379).
It is amazing how the things that we do out of a routine affect us without being aware of the good it is doing us. After praying The Offices day in and day out, the verse by which we begin Morning or Evening Prayer just rolls off our tongues. Abba Isaac wrote about the power of these words from the days of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. They faced physical dangers far more severe than anything we can imagine. Today, in that same part of the world in which St. John Cassian would have lived, the Coptic Christians still face massive persecution for their faith.
God never said that we would have to face all of our trials, temptations and challenges alone. God promised that God would be with us. God will come ever more closer to us, however, when we call upon him with our lips and hearts open to accepting God’s abiding presence. Jesus will always come and sup with us, when we open our doors to Him in faith.
O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB