Sitting with the Anima Christi Prayer

holding crucifix - photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

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.

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 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.

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Vinita. The Anima Christi prayer – is very moving. Offers an onward path. Long live the memory of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

  2. I thought the Anima Christi was written by Pope John xx11. It was a favourite prayer of my younger brother Lio when I brought Holy Communion to him when he was unable to go to Mass. It is a beautiful prayer and brings us into Christ just as He comes to us.

  3. I did not know this prayer was attributed to St Ignatius. Now I know why it means so much to me! I say this prayer every time I receive the Eucharist. I do not recall when I learned it but suspect it was as a teen. I think it really became a part of me when I was going through a rough patch much, much later. Then, I could visualize curling up in His wounds and somehow being protected and safe. And the phrase “Blood of Christ inebriate me” never fails to bring me joy in recognizing how much Jesus loves me. The only phrase I have modified is the one about spending eternity praising Him. I like to say that “I may be with you…”

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