Deus, in adjutorium meum intende

Il-buon-samaritano Into the Heart of Today's Gospel The Introit of today’s Mass brought us straight into the heart of the Gospel. What did we sing or, rather, what did we hear in the Introit, if not the heart–rending cry of the man who «went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead» (Luke 10:30)? It is this man, passed by both priest and levite, lying wounded and helpless by the road, who cries out:

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul: Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame that desire evils to me. (Psalm 69: 2–4)

Seven Times a Day and More The opening words of this Introit are well known to us. Every monk prays them at least seven times a day. «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me» (Psalm 69:2). Concerning this prayer, Saint John Cassian says:

This verse embraces all the feelings which can be implanted in human nature . . . It contains an invocation of God against every danger, it contains humble and pious confession, it contains the watchfulness of anxiety and continual fear, it contains the thought of one's own weakness, confidence in the answer, and the assurance of a present and ever ready help.

God Not Far from His Suppliants «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me».

This verse is an impregnable wall for all who are labouring under the attacks of demons, as well as impenetrable coat of mail and a strong shield. It does not suffer those who are in a state of moroseness and anxiety of mind, or depressed by sadness or all kinds of thoughts to despair of saving remedies, as it shows that He, who is invoked, is ever looking on at our struggles and is not far from His suppliants.

«O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me».



Let the thought of this verse, I tell you, be pondered over in your breast without ceasing. Whatever work you are doing, or office you are holding, or journey you are going, do not cease to chant this. When you are going to bed, or eating, and in the last necessities of nature, think on this. This thought in your heart maybe to you a saving formula, and not only keep you unharmed by all attacks of devils, but also purify you from all faults and earthly stains, and lead you to that invisible and celestial contemplation, and carry you on to that ineffable glow of prayer, of which so few have any experience.

«O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me».

Let sleep come upon you still considering this verse, till having been moulded by the constant use of it, you grow accustomed to repeat it even in your sleep. When you wake let it be the first thing to come into your mind, let it anticipate all your waking thoughts, let it when you rise from your bed send you down on your knees, and thence send you forth to all your work and business, and let it follow you about all day long.

Cry Out If you would attract the attention of the Good Samaritan as he passes by, cry out: «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me». If you are waiting for him to come close to you in your distress, cry out: «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me». If you would experience His tender compassion, if you are wounded and helpless, cry out: «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me».

Wine and Oil The Good Samaritan will come to you. Your eyes, bleary and filled with tears, will look into His eyes; and His eyes, shining pools of infinite compassion, will look into your eyes. In that moment, you will recognize Him. The Good Samaritan is none other than the Son of God, «sent into the world, not to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him» (John 3:15). He comes with the soothing oil of the Holy Ghost. He comes with the fruit of the Vine that is His Most Precious Blood. Herein is the fulfillment of David’s mystic prophecy given us in today’s Communion Antiphon: «That wine may cheer the heart of man. That He may make the face cheerful with oil: and that bread may strengthen man' s heart» (Psalm 103:15).

He Hath Given Us All Things in His Son «He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?» (Romans 8:32). This is why Our Lord adds, «And setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee» (Luke 10:34–35).

Servants of the Divine Hospitality Who is the innkeeper? Who is the host paid, and repaid well, for all the expenses of his hospitality?  Are not we, each of us in the place where God has placed us, innkeepers and hosts, servants of the Divine Hospitality? And who among us, has not, in places and circumstances known to God alone, lain wounded by the roadside, helpless and forsaken. Let the innkeeper wait for Him who, at His return, will surely repay Him. And let the wounded man, helpless and forsaken, say again and yet again: «O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me». Pray this prayer and for you, as for the saints of every age, the inn of your recovery will become, as Saint John Cassian says, a place of «invisible and celestial contemplation» a hospice lighted and warmed by the «ineffable glow of prayer».