500-Year Old Prayers

This is a featured post by Jon Rice. Jon is the Chi Alpha director at Georgetown Chi Alpha. He enjoys running, coffee and all things Jesuit. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

This is a featured post by Jon Rice. Jon is the Chi Alpha director at Georgetown Chi Alpha. He enjoys running, coffee and all things Jesuit. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

I never knew how much my faith would grow because of my time at Georgetown. Before I arrived I knew nothing of the Jesuits and their deep spiritual heritage. Growing up in the Assemblies of God I knew very little of liturgy and even less about liturgical prayers. From an early age I learned to pray to God as if it was simply a conversation with a friend. This is still the way I feel most comfortable in prayer. 

But while making a year long spiritual retreat with the Jesuits on campus, I learned the value and power of prayers written down long ago. One such prayer was the Anima Christi, originally by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Though he lived almost 500 years ago, his words still ring true today So powerful was the effect of this prayer on me, that I began ending every time of prayer with this declaration. It said something that I longed to say to God, but couldn't find the words. 

Now long after the retreat is ended, I still find myself praying the Anima Christi at times when my words fail. Similar to reciting a familiar worship song, this prayer reminds me of my hearts desire and my continued calling. I pray it blesses you as you join in prayer with me. 

Anima Christi (Contemporary Translation)

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. 

Further Resources via Loyola Press »

Orginally published on the DC Chi Alpha blog