22 May 2011

Soul of Christ

I'm trying to stay off-line as much as possible on Sundays, so I thought over the next few Sundays I'd just post my thoughts, such as they may be, on the Anima Christi prayer.  It's one of my favourite prayers, and one I say daily. Here's the full text:

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 malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That with thy Saints I may praise Thee
For all eternity

Soul of Christ, sanctify me 

I'll admit that this line isn't one to which I instantly gravitate when I'm meditating on this prayer.  My first thought with this is that Christ having a soul really brings His humanity to the fore.  What is a soul, anyway?  The Latin text is "Anima Christi", as the soul is what animates us.  Here are some relevant quotes from the Catechism:

363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.230 But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,231 that by which he is most especially in God's image: "soul" signifies the spiritual principle in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:232

Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day. 233

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.
 So I guess what we're saying is "Jesus, your very being, your innermost self, in whose image I'm made, make me holy, as You are holy".  Or at least that's my take on it at the moment. Amazing!


  1. Good to find another person who loves the Anima Christi as much as I do. It is such a simple prayer but I find so much meaning in it and such comfort.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. It's one of the first prayers I encountered when I was converting. My aunt had sent me a card with this prayer when I was confirmed. I've loved it ever since.

    God bless!