By Fr. Paul August Gros
Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ! By the time you read this I most likely will be on the tail end of my silent retreat in a desert north of Phoenix called Black Canyon. Thank you for your prayers! I promise I have been praying for all of you and your intentions.
I was moved to talk a little a bit about the prayer that is sung by our cantors at the end of communion called the “Anima Christi”. “Anima Christi” is Latin for “Soul of Christ” which are the first words of the prayer. Here are the words to this beautiful prayer:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from Christ’s side, 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 I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels Forever and ever.
For many years it was thought that St. Ignatius of Loyola composed it because it was found in his great spiritual work called the Spiritual Exercise. However, more recently it was discovered in some prayer books that date all the way back to the 14th century, which was several centuries before St. Ignatius of Loyola. Some historians attribute the prayer to Pope John XXII, but most are unsure as to who the original author is.
Nonetheless, it is a beautiful post-communion prayer! The first time I heard it put to music was while celebrating Mass at St. Helena. Then I heard it a second time while at Mater Dolorosa. I thought it would be a good addition to St. Margaret and St. Thomas’s post-communion hymns because it helps focus us on who we have just received in the Most Holy Eucharist.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me! Have a wonderful week!