My dear Covenant Partners and GEM Family
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 thy wounds, hide me, permit me not to be separated from thee, from the wicked foe defend me, at the hour of my death, call me, and bid me come to thee, that with thy saints I may praise thee, forever and ever. Amen.
For many centuries, when learning how to read and write was a rare privilege denied to most Christians, many became ardent disciples of Jesus through the vocal prayers that they prayed from memory, and the teachings about the faith that they received from their pastors. We have many martyrs and saints from among the ranks of the uneducated and illiterate. In God’s eyes and the eyes of the Church, they were powerful witnesses worthy of our highest admiration and love. Through vocal prayer, their faith was strengthened, and their surrender to God became wholehearted and courageous. If you pray your vocal prayers with childlike faith, sitting at the feet of your Master Jesus, with the Holy Spirit as your Tutor, the Master’s School of Formation will indeed become His School of Transformation. If you pay loving attention to the words of each prayer and reverent attention to the Presence of the Lord within you, you will indeed become a sanctuary where God has made His abode.
The Soul of Christ Prayer was very important to St. Ignatius and acts as a prefatory prayer to The Spiritual Exercises, highlighting the purpose of the retreat: to enter into covenant union with our Triune God through the Son of God made flesh! We have entered into covenant union with God through Jesus becoming man and offering Himself on the Cross as a reparation offering on our behalf. Consequently, in a very graphic manner, the prayer makes clear that we are immersed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Risen Lord! Our crucified-Risen Lord indwells us and we live within the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Risen Jesus in covenant union. As Colossians 2: 12 puts it, in baptism we have been buried into the death of Christ and have been raised with Him in His resurrection. Along with experiencing salvation as covenant union with the Blessed Trinity through the Word of God become flesh, St. Ignatius also highlights two other significant aspects of our covenant relationship with God: however powerful Satan might be, the power dwelling within us is far greater than the power dwelling outside us: From the wicked foe, defend me! Secondly, while our covenant union with Jesus is personal, it is always experienced within the communion of saints. The last request of the prayer makes this clear: That with Thy saints I may praise Thee, for ever and ever. Amen.
This prayer highlights the central truth of Jesus as the Son of God made flesh. He is our incarnate Lord and Savior. Jesus saves us as God-man! His death on the cross makes Jesus our crucified Savior. His body is broken for us! We are washed white in His blood! We are healed by His stripes (wounds)! We eat His body, and drink His blood as our Manna that never will perish! Through His death and resurrection, we now share in the divine nature (2Peter 1:4). God bless you! You are in our daily prayers!