One of my favourite prayers (from St Anselm)

At the back of my Book of Common Prayer I have this Post-It note:

It says, for those with difficulty reading text of images:

Hope of my heart, strength of my soul, help of my weakness, by your powerful kindness complete what in my powerless weakness I attempt. My life, the end to which I strive, although I have not yet attained to love you as I ought, still let my desire for you be as great as my love ought to be. (trans. Benedicta Ward from The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm)

I cannot tell you where in St Anselm’s prayers and meditations this is to be found. I found it originally for Evensong one year when I was precenting and it was the feast of this Archbishop of Canterbury (although he wrote this when still a monk at Bec).

Nevertheless, it has been a go-to prayer of mine ever since, and I am glad that I stuck this Post-It in the back of my prayer book — the expectation was a single use, but grace decided otherwise. I hope it can similarly inspire you.

Do you have any favourite prayers? I’m thinking of sharing some others here over the coming weeks.

5 thoughts on “One of my favourite prayers (from St Anselm)

  1. The source is Anselm of Canterbury, Orationes siue meditationes, oratio 2 (printed in his Opera Omnia, ed. F.S. Schmitt, 1946, vol. 3, p. 6):

    Spes cordis mei, uirtus animae meae, auxilium infirmitatis meae, compleat tua potentissima benignitas quod conatur mea tepidissima imbecillitas. Vita mea, finis intentionis meae, etsi nondum merui te tantum quantum debitor sum amare, utique saltem desidero te tantum quantum debeo amare.

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