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Anima Christi

Do you need a break from life’s daily grind?

Turn to Jesus in The Anima Christi (Latin for “Soul of Christ”), a prayer inviting us to ask our Lord for comfort, strength, and guidance. It offers us a chance to meditate on His Passion and pray for His help to gain Eternal Life.

The Anima Christi is profoundly Christ-centered. Is there any wonder that it is often recited after Holy Communion? The actual origins of the Anima Christi are uncertain, but the prayer has been widely attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, one of the towering figures of our faith. However, the Anima Christi dates back to the 14th century and was popular enough that it turned up in prayer books way before St. Ignatius featured it in his classic work Spiritual Exercises in the 16th century. He designed this book, still popular today both for retreats and private use, to bring souls closer to God through a series of meditations and prayers.

“ANIMA CHRISTI” – “Soul of Christ”

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Water from the side of Christ, 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 malignant enemy defend me.

In the hour of my death call me.

And bid me come unto Thee, That with all Thy saints, I may praise thee Forever and ever.

Amen.

A LINE-BY-LINE prayer reflection on the “ANIMA CHRISTI”

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

O Jesus, may your soul, vast as the universe, invade my whole being and draw me closer to you.

Body of Christ, save me.

I open myself to your love. Embrace me with your healing and transforming power. I am especially moved by this prayer when I reflect on it after receiving the body and blood of Christ at Holy Communion, or after Mass has ended.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

You have redeemed me, Jesus, by your blood shed upon the cross. At the Eucharist, I receive that blood in the form of wine. Your burning love is so overwhelming that I become intoxicated by the intensity of your love for me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Yes, Jesus, let the water flowing from your side cleanse me, as did the life-giving water that flowed over me at Baptism. And may this saving stream never stop flowing through me!

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

It is your power, and not my own, that heals me and makes me strong. As the psalmist says, “Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build” (Ps 127:1). Your strength alone is my source of hope.

O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me.

I experience something very mystical and intimate, Jesus, when I hide there.

Let me never by separated from you.

Loving Savior, these words express for me the most central theme of the Anima Christi. Keep me aware that this is not so much a gaining of information about you, O Jesus, as it is a growing into a more intimate love union with you.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.

These words are similar to the closing words of the Our Father, which teach me to say: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Loving Lord, set me free from any malignant force that separates me from you, or from life itself!

In the hour of my death, call me, and bid me come to you that, with your saints, I may praise you for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus, I need your help to reach my final home in your heavenly kingdom. Stay with me to the end so I can join in singing your praises with all who are saved by your overflowing and immense love!