This beautiful Catholic prayer is called “Anima Christi” from the first words of the Latin text. “Anima Christi” means “Soul of Christ.” It is a very Christ-centered prayer that people often pray after receiving Holy Communion.
Because the prayer is at the beginning of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, the Anima Christi is often attributed to St. Ignatius. However, the “Anima Christi” actually dates back to the 14th century, so he isn’t the author. Obviously, though, St. Ignatius loved the prayer and held it in high regard.
Meditating on the Passion and Death of Our Blessed Lord does wonders for our spiritual life. St. Paul of the Cross said: “Furthermore, I wish that every now and then you would go fishing. How? In this way. The holy sufferings of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but it is also a sea of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this sea. Immerse yourself in it, and, no matter how deeply you go, you will never reach the bottom. Allow yourself to be penetrated with love and sorrow. In this way you will make the sufferings of the gentle Jesus your own. Fish for the pearls of the virtues of Jesus. This holy fishing is done without words; faith and love teach the way. The most humble fisher is the best.”
Let’s see what some of the other saints had to say about this subject:
“Mount Calvary is the academy of love” (St. Francis de Sales).
“As they were looking on, so we too gaze on his wounds as he hangs. We see his blood as he dies. We see the price offered by the Redeemer, touch the scars of his resurrection. He bows his head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that he may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as he was once fixed to the cross in every part of his body for you, so he may now be fixed in every part of your soul” (St. Augustine).
“O cherished cross! Through thee my most bitter trials are replete with graces!” (St. Paul of the Cross).
Below is this beautiful traditional prayer.
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 close to You bid me,
That with Your saints,
I may be praising You forever and ever.