The Anima Christi prayer has been attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, but it has ancient roots, having lived within the soul of the Christian community for many centuries. We can see why its phrases would be associated with Ignatius; it’s quite an incarnational prayer, connecting us to every aspect of Jesus the Christ—not merely his soul and passion but his very blood, body, and wounds. In this prayer, we call upon Jesus the human as well as the cosmic Christ who existed before all and enlivens us and all of creation with his spirit and love.
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 your wounds hide me.
Do not allow me to be separated from you.
From the malevolent enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
and bid me come to you,
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.
(Translation by George E. Ganss, SJ, in The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius)
Read through this prayer two or three times, and then sit with these questions.
- Which phrase or phrases speak to me most powerfully, and why do I think this is so?
- Which phrase or phrases are most difficult for me to relate to, and why do I think this is so?
- How do I understand the Body of Christ saving me or the water from his side washing me?
- How do I relate to the phrase, “Blood of Christ, inebriate me”?
- How do I imagine Christ hides me in his wounds? Why would I want to be there?
Choose one phrase from the Anima Christi to integrate into your prayers today.