Anima Christi – Contemporary Translation

by Paul on January 9, 2013

The Ignatian Adventure book coverIn Kevin O’Brien’s excellent The Ignatian Adventure, he cites the late great David Fleming’s contemporary translation of the Anima Christi.  Ignatius loved this prayer. Here it is.

Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.
May your body and blood be my food and drink.
May your passion and death be my strength and life.
Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given.
May the shelter I seek be the shadow your cross.
Let me not run from the love which you offer,
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each my dyings shed your light and your love.
Keep calling to me until that day comes, when, with your saints,
I may praise you forever. Amen.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 9, 2013 at 4:33 am

I love this prayer. Sometime back I was helping G., a friend of a friend, with a review of a book of daily prayer designed for interdenominational use (the title of which is quite wonderful – Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals). G. thought that to review a prayer book, you should see how it gets used, and so went around and prayed from the book with all sorts of people, which is how I found myself on a dark drenching day, sitting in the campus center where I teach, praying (out loud) the Anima Christi with someone I’d just met. The much loved and familiar prayer made what might otherwise have felt awkward feel like home.

I will admit to a certain fondness for Joseph Tetlow SJ’s version (From Hearts on Fire), particularly the first line:

I choose to breathe the breath of Christ that makes all life holy.

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annette January 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Michelle, you had me at “Radicals”. :)

Praying like that is so incredibly powerful, what a gift for you both.

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Michelle,

What a great story. I love the idea of you praying the “Anima” in the student center with someone you hardly knew. How brave are you?!

Paul

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Lynda January 9, 2013 at 5:44 am

This prayer means so very much to me. When I first began meeting with my spiritual director, my assignment was to pray the Anima Christi daily but the original version and to put myself into the prayer one line at a time. I have always been drawn to the line “Within thy wounds, hide me.” More recently I have begun praying David Fleming SJ’s version and the line that really speaks to me is: “Let me not run from the love which you offer.” So often I turn down the love that God offers me although I want so much to be hidden within God’s very being. Before becoming Catholic I was from a tradition that didn’t use written prayers and Anima Christi is one of the first that has taught me the incredible value of written prayers.

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Lynda,

I share your fondness for “Let me not run from the love which you offer.” Sadly, however, I’m still running way too often.

Paul

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Tim January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

What a wonderful prayer, the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus comes to mind. As we travel down our respective path’s why not take a stroll with Christ, and hang with Him for awhile. Never know what might rub off, that we can forward to others.

Happy Wednesday…

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Tim,

Taking a stroll with Christ sounds so inviting and non-threatening, doesn’t it?

Paul

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Maura January 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Love it! thank you.
especially
“Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given.”

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Maura,

Enough, indeed. Glad you liked it.

Paul

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claire January 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Oh, this is beautiful, thank you. This version should feel less scary to my children than the original one…

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Claire,

The original version is a little “rigid” but I still love it.

Paul

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn January 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Great book and great prayer – thanks!

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Fran,

My pleasure entirely.

Paul

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Dolly January 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I bought this book, The Ignatian Adventure by kevin O’Brien, SJ, and did the exercises with the help of my spiritual director. I’ve been blessed with a lot of revelation about myself and God, and how I relate to him. The prayer, Anima Christi, had come to life for me while going through the exercises. I love this version and that of Joseph Tetlow’s, SJ.

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Dolly,

Isn’t Kevin’s book great? I use it with all my 19th Annotation folks.

Paul

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Carol January 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I’ll have to mull this one over. I am very attached to St. Ignatius’ original version. “Soul of Christ, sanctify me,” seems to me a plea for Him to take action, and “passion of Christ, strengthen me,” has been something I murmur to myself on a nearly daily basis when things get rough.

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Carol,

Mulling can be good or bad. Choose well!

Paul

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annette January 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

“Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given.”

Wasn’t that the word this year, enough? I am going to sit in this line for a bit and then give thanks knowing that he will….

“On each my dyings shed your light and your love.”

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Annette,

“On each of my dyings…” I appreciate the idea that there isn’t one death but that we’re constantly called to let go.

Paul

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Denise J January 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

This is just breath-takingly beautiful. Thank you

“May the shelter I seek be the shadow your cross ” is a phrase and an image I am going to be turning over in my mind for the rest of the day — probably longer.

A shadow would not seem to provide much shelter. Two pieces of wood can’t provide much protection from the elements. It won’t hide me from other people. It doesn’t offer much physical safety, does it?

So — can I see what it does shelter me from, and be profoundly grateful for that? Do I trust that the shadow of the cross is enough to protect me from real lasting harm?

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Paul January 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Denise,

What a beautiful reflection. Thank you.

Paul

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John Portelli January 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I rediscovered the Anima Christi last year while doing the Exercises. It was a prayer from my school days in th early 60s, with the Jesuits of course!! In the modern version I was struck especially by the opening “Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.” Meditating on it I imagine Jesus in me, after communion, coursing through my veins and arteries, through my sinews and over my bones, into my heart, into my mind… all over me. It gave me a new dimension to our relationship and especially each time I receive the Eucharist. The realisation that Jesus is closer than I realised took on new meaning.

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Josephine January 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm

This prayer means a lot to me especially the “Jesus may all that is you flow into me” so that I’ll be truly Christ-like, filled with his compassion, mercy, love, wisdom and humility. It’s may daily morning prayer.

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C.W. "Butchie" Olmstead October 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Even with reply dates as aged as these are, i will act as thou
though this blog still breathes. If only to be a lone dissident
among all the approvals here~ i simply and humbley
to say this is by far THE WORST “translation” of the ANIMA
CHRISTI i have ever encountered. Nothing resembling an
actual translation- this is as sophormoric a paraphrase as
is imaginable! At least by me. I have prayed the Anima
Christi for years, and also researched its earliest extant
documentation from the 12 century- which also indicates
clearly that the Anima Christi comes to us from an anonymous
source. All that can be known is its dated from the 12th
Century- and St. Ignatious is NOT its author, such as has
been often and mistakenly asserted. FLEE! FLEE thyself to
the clear and literal translation of the Anima Christi. You
will find it on EWTN’s documents & archives, and in the.
monthly devotional “Magnificat.” My most beloved line-
“Within thy holy wounds, hide me.” Who will dare they have

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