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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Feast of St. Ignatius

I love St. Ignatius of Loyola. I had the joy and grace of making a thirty-day retreat in the Jesuit retreat house built over the cave where Ignatius first began writing the Spiritual Exercises. I loved Manresa and spent many hours in prayer in the cave, even spending the entire night there the last day of the retreat. Three years later, I had the added grace to return to give the 30-day retreat to priests and also a Christian Brother and a Benedictine Sister. I loved going to Montserrat where Ignatius had gone before Manresa.
I did not intend to go back to Spain, but later I was there teaching Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross in a summer course and managed to get to the north of Spain to visit Loyola and the very room where Ignatius lived for months after being wounded and where he was converted from his dream of worldly honor to the desire to do even more for Christ than the saints he was reading about during his convalescence.
What I intended to share today is a prayer that he loved, the Anima Christi, a 14th century post Communion prayer.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
O good Jesus, hear me. 
Within your wounds, hide me.
Do not let me be separated from you.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In 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.

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