This Sunday, although no explicit mention will be made of him in the prayers of the Mass, is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the young Spanish knight become priest, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who died on this day July 31, 1556. Like all the saints, he was (is!) in love with Christ.
In our second reading today (Colossians 3:1-11), St. Paul tells us that “our life is hidden with Christ in God”. The saints are Sisters and Brothers in Christ who deliberately yielded to His love in such a way as truly to be “hidden with Christ in God”, and, as a result, become, for us, instruments of divine love and light. St Ignatius journeys with us.
The following prayer, called the “Anima Christi” is often attributed to St. Ignatius. It was composed well before his time, however, which actually allowed him to include it in his famous work, the “Spiritual Exercises”. Its author is unknown. It has been carried in the heart of the Church, part of our spiritual patrimony. It is the prayer of someone in love with 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, strengthen me
O Good Jesus, hear me
Within the wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
Forever and ever Amen.
Yours in the heart of the Church,
From the desk of the Rector