For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
How do we enter this “new creation” mentioned in today’s reading? St. Ignatius of Loyola placed the prayer the Anima Christi at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises. It is a prayer I use daily; it gives a strength that I can’t find elsewhere. Many of those who I have directed spiritually also love this prayer. Anima Christi is from the Latin meaning “Soul of Christ”. The Latin word anima means “to breathe into”. Christ’s soul is breathed into us, but we must accept this reality in order for it to flow.
The first line of this prayer is usually translated: “Soul of Christ, sanctify me.” Many days, this line is all I need for prayer and reflection. Cardinal John Henry Newman translates it “Soul of my Savior, save me.” Fr. David Fleming, SJ, interprets it “Jesus may all that is you flow into me.” Our soul is the immaterial part of our person; the soul is who we are at our best – it is immortal. As Paul said, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.” We know Christ today, but in a different way. We can be one with Christ; our soul is given insight and direction through the soul of Christ. We go beyond anything that we alone could do.
—Greg Richard has served at St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, OH for thirty-three years. He has been the director of Campus Ministry, Theology teacher, Theology department chair, coach, and Adult Chaplain. He is now the Vice President for Ignatian Identity.
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 your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At 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.
—Anima Christi prayerPlease share the Good Word with your friends!