Anima Christi

I spent much of the day yesterday preparing for an upcoming overnight Ignatian retreat for UST undergraduates so I woke up with St. Ignatius still on my mind.

A favorite prayer of Ignatius was the Anima Christi. The prayer is included at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, and Ignatius recommended reciting the prayer at the end of one’s prayer time. It is a prayer that I love and it is one I recite every day.

In its traditional form it reads:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever

The version of the prayer I use, which speaks to me more powerfully than the traditional version is by David Fleming, S.J. and it reads:

Jesus, may all that is in you flow into me.
May your body and blood be my food and drink.
May your passion and death be my strength and life.
Jesus, with you by my side enough has been given.
May the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross.
Let me not run from the love which you offer.
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each of my dyings shed your light and your love.
Keep calling to me until that day comes.
When with our saints, I may praise you forever.

“With you by my side enough has been given.” That is the truth we are invited to embrace to the core of our being – that Jesus is the only shelter we need and is the source of our strength and life.