Anima Christi - Eternal
Lord of All - Take
and Receive - Ways
of Praying - Praying
Although the Spiritual Exercises consist for the most part in meditations
on Scripture passages as well as reflections on life and committment
to Christ, St Ignatius does suggest a few well known prayers, often
to end a meditation session. He frequently suggests one of three prayers,
the Lord's Prayer (Our Father), the Hail Mary (Ave Maria) and the Anima
Christi. The first of these two are still well known and used, the last
is not as well known. It is probably best known in its versified form
as the hymn, "Soul of My Saviour".
Anima Christi - Soul of Christ
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, strenthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within your wounds, hide me.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me
At the hour of my death, call me
And bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever, Amen.
There are two other prayers, apparently written by
Ignatius, that he suggest the retreatant undertaking the Full Spiritual
Exercises might want to pray: Eternal Lord of all things, which comes
as an offering to Christ, the King at the end of the First Week of the
Exercises - number 98. and Take
Eternal Lord of all things
Eternal Lord of all things,
I come before your infinite goodness,
and before your glorious mother and all saints of the heavenly court,
to make my offering, with your help and favour:
it is my wish, desire and determination,
provided that it would be for your greater service and praise,
to imitate you in suffering injury, insults and poverty,
actual as well as spiritual;
It is my wish that your most holy majesty would choose to receive me
in such a way of life.
Perhaps the most famous of Ignatius prayers is the
Sucipe or Take and Receive which comes right at then end of
the Spiritual Exercises - number 234. In this prayer there is a total
giving of self back to God. The Memory, Understanding and Will were
seen to encompass the person's learning, mental ability and judgment,
and freedom to act - the totality of human qualities known as the
three powers of the soul.
At this stage of the Exercises there is no need to spell out the spiritual
determination to go against the usual human desires for pleasure, riches
and being well thought of, as in the prayer above - Eternal Lord of
All things. By now, at the end of the Spiritual Exercises, the only
desire is for a self-emptying and handing of self over to Christ.
Take and Receive
Take Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding and my entire will,
All I have and possess.
You have given me everything Lord, I return it.
All is yours, dispose of it according to your will.
Give me only your love and your grace
that is enough for me.