Introducing seven meditations on the Anima Christi from Unconditionally, Finding Jesus in the Eucharist by Greg Wasinski
The Anima Christi
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
Separated from You let me never be
From the evil one protect me
At the hour of my death call me and bid me come unto thee
that I may praise you with your saints forever and ever.
Part of praying specific prayers we are taught, or we find on our own, is to create a connection point to where we feel ourselves in an embrace with the Holy One, especially when the words of our prayers allow us to see the beauty of our faith and experience God’s presence. All of these moments when the words written on the page becoming a living moment of worship and petition should transform us in some way. They give us an opportunity to lift our hearts to the Lord, even when we don’t have the right words or we are too weak to even think straight. Finding Jesus in the Eucharist can be accomplished by opening up ourselves to make specific connections, inviting Him to become part of our every moment.
Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to “seek” and to “knock,” since he himself is the door and the way. (CCC 2609)
Fruits of the Eucharist
One of the many prayers that fall under the “Eucharist” category of prayer is the Anima Christi. Personally, I feel the deepest connection to Christ and all He offers me when I lift up its words. It’s a beautiful collection of the various fruits of Jesus offered through receiving the Eucharist. Many years ago when looking through a Catholic prayer book, I came across this all-encompassing prayer. It showed me what it means to find the peace of Jesus within the Eucharist.
The Anima Christi has been attributed to a wide array of authors. Some believe its origin dates as far back as the fifth century, but most scholars infer its usage at least dating back to the fourteenth century. A wider exposure came about when the prayer became part of St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises. Regardless of its historical origin, it’s safe to say it’s been around a long time. Outside of scripture, I find such beauty in the unification with all people of our faith to know we are offering the same prayers today that others lifted up hundreds of years prior.
Heavenly Soul of Christ
“Anima Christi” is Latin for, “Soul of Christ.” So we understand that before we speak any other words of the prayer, we are reflecting on the enveloping heavenly soul of Christ and not merely the human body. The soul holds His will and is what returns to the Father. The prayer goes on to give us aspects of our baptism, the Lord’s Passion, and even our own birth into a new life in the Kingdom of Heaven; all this contained in the sanctifying grace present in the soul of Christ. A soul that we are allowed to touch when we partake in the feast of the Eucharist.
Let’s call to mind the divine power within Christ’s being by examining each verse, praying together in thanksgiving for the opportunity to find Jesus’s saving grace revealed in the Blessed Sacrament.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
The first of seven meditations on the Anima Christi
There is no purer soul in the history of time than that of Jesus Christ. A soul that encountered temptation, compassion, love, anger and even fear. However, in all of His humanity, Jesus remained holy, which not only kept Him pure of heart, but also pure of soul. In this line, we are asking for him to make us holy; sanctified. The word “sanctify” would be simply defined as, “To set apart as or declare holy; consecrate.” For us to be consecrated through the Eucharist helps us to settle into a realm of covenant with God, which commences when we are separate from ourselves and invite Christ into us to become one with Him. “See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: the birds, the tame animals, and all the wild animals that were with you – all that came out of the ark” (Gen 9:9-10).
A chance to die to self
Noah, Aaron, and Moses all had a chance to die to themselves and be made whole in Him. In the same way, we are desiring holiness, freedom from sin and whatever else may bind us. We look to be relieved from anything that does not allow us to fully encounter Jesus both inside and outside of the Eucharist. As the Catechism identifies for us in relation to his dissension into hell, we proclaim in our creed:
In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him. (CCC 637)
This is important to recognize for us in the moments after receiving Him in the Eucharist because this is what we desire in being relieved from our brokenness. In some cases, to close the distance we have placed before us and Christ.
We pray, “Lord make me holy as You were holy in both your humanness and divinity to join together with our soul in order to help us separate the things of this world, preparing us for our true home in Heaven.”
Copyright © 2015 by Greg Wasinski & LMBM, Inc. All rights reserved.
Greg Wasinski was successful, career driven, business executive searching for lifelong fulfillment when he heard a direct calling from God to move his talents into full-time ministry. Greg is an internationally recognized, Catholic Christian inspirational speaker and author from Cleveland, OH. He also offers his radio talents as a daily contributor to SiriusXM Radio’s The Catholic Channel with his “Faith & Real Life Moments.”