I do love this prayer, Anima Christi, Soul of Christ.
Father Ignatius incorporated it into his life changing “Spiritual Exercises.”
Remember how, when we love someone, it’s got this component of discovery.
Our hands, eyes, mouths go all over and we fall and commit to this beauty.
Life leads us to loss. Disappointed again and again by our loves, we continue.
We love whom we lose to distance, death, and difference.
The adorable can be cantankerous, vain, veiny and wrinkled, and can leave me,
and alone, confused, I wonder at the worth of all this yearning to love.
I’m old now and afraid to fall again. I fear that I will disappoint, abandon,
not care enough, dare enough, or be left too much, too often.
Then there’s this prayer. I see the beloved skin and flesh of the Lord whom I know.
He changes, He leaves, but there is something my eyes, my mouth have learned.
He is not gone. This God who is absurdly beautiful and so hard to comprehend,
this God bleeds with us, feels our pain, is destroyed by me.
Again and again, I want to love Him back. This prayer takes me over Him again
and I fall, again and again. The wisdom wounded Lover, all glitter and glory.
He bleeds and dies and promises, anyway, to love me, in the ones who will die anyway,
in the beautiful ones who catch my heart, in the Eucharist.
He is not gone. I will never be alone. He understands and promises it’s all OK.
There is a heaven and we are all somehow together with God, now and forever.
Dennis McNally SJ 3 Oct. 2016
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.
Oh good Jesus, hear me;
Within Your wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death call me
and bid me come unto Thee,
that with Your saints I may praise Thee,
for ever and ever. Amen.
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