Ignatius in July, 1

Some of my Ignatian friends are observing this entire month as a conclusion to the Ignatian Year, marking five centuries since the man’s conversion thanks to a military injury and long convalescence. Let’s see if I can maintain a discipline of a daily short reflection to honor at least the last 31 days of this special year.

July 1st, better known as Canada Day these days, was once more widely observed as the feast of the Precious Blood. Saint Ignatius didn’t compose the Anima Christi, but he utilized it for the Spiritual Exercises. One line stood out for me today:

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Is that really a good thing? Alcohol is so badly abused in our society. One of my grandparents ended life as a street person because of the addiction. The Church, too, has suffered–alcoholics in leadership and abusing others as a consequence.

Does this intercession just mean I want to be intoxicated, or just tipsy in my faith? Maybe I’m not looking for a thirst to be quenched, a longing to be satisfied. I want all the Lord Jesus can give me. Maybe a bit more.

Some things I just don’t understand. I suppose if Father Ignatius were an acquaintance, a friend, a spiritual director, he would say things I didn’t get. But I suppose I’d stick with it for a little bit. Just to see where the reflection led me.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Ignatius in July, 1

  1. Joyce Donahue says:

    You should really read his autobiography. After his conversion he was extreme in everything he did, from penances to pilgrimages – to the point where people often thought he was a madman. He was also a mystic who often had visions, which I found delightfully surprising. I think for him, to be inebriated by the Blood of Christ is to see nothing else but Christ.

  2. Liam says:

    So this is an instance where it can help to consider that English is not the original language, but Latin.

    Anima Christi, sanctifica me;
    Corpus Christi, salva me;
    Sanguis Christi, *inebria* me;
    Aqua lateris Christi, lava me;
    Passio Christi, conforta me;
    O bone Iesu, exaudi me;
    Intra tua vulnera absconde me;
    Ne permittas me separari a te;
    Ab hoste maligno defende me;
    In hora mortis mea voca me;
    Et iube me venire ad te;
    Ut cum Santis tuis laudem te
    in saeculua saeculorum.

    The Latin verb “inebriare” has layers of possible meaning. One of which can be rendered in English as “to ravish”. That’s a mystical dimension of the verb.

    The line I italicize for emphasis in my post-Communion thanksgiving prayers is, in English:

    O good Jesus, hear me.

    • Liam says:

      As a prayer to bookend the Anima Christi, I adapted a prayer of St John Newman (to make it first person plural, instead of first person singular, as a prayer for all fellow members of the Body of Christ), and I share it in case anyone else may find it fruitful:

      Support us, O Lord, all the day long,
      till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes,
      and the busy world is hushed,
      and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
      Then, in your mercy, give us a safe lodging,
      and a holy rest, and peace at the last.

      Our Lord and Savior, support us in that hour
      in the strong arms of your Sacraments.
      Let the absolving words be said over us,
      and the holy oil sign and seal us,
      and your own Body be our food.
      May we receive the gift of perseverance,
      and die, as we desire to live,
      in your Faith, in your Church,
      in your service, and in your Love. Amen.

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