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“Anima Christi” -3

(1. Soul of Christ, sanctify me.)

(2. Body of Christ, save me.)

- – – – -

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.

We remember gruesomely colored crucifixes, or the blood dripping from Jim Caviezel’s face in Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ.”  But this petition draws us away from the gore, enticing us toward the joy that is God’s gift to us through the self-giving of Christ.

It may sound shocking at first to beg, “Blood of Christ, inebriate me.”  Not blood of Christ, drown me in your sorrow; or blood of Christ, unite me with your suffering.  No, here we express our longing to drink deeply of something akin to a fine, rare wine.  We pray for a holy intoxication.  We acknowledge the hope of joy, even amid the pain of life.

Psalm 104:14-15 praises God for many gifts, including wine:

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.

But the wine for which we pray is one that gladdens the heart without causing traffic accidents, costing jobs, ruining health, or breaking up families.

The inebriation for which we pray is

“…that of which the poets and mystics have written when they said that they were drunk with the love of Christ, inebriated with God, set reeling with the thought of God’s glory and of God’s love for them.”

Mother Mary Francis, Anima Christi: Soul of Christ (Ignatius Press, 2001), 29-30.

As Psalm 4:7 says:

You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.

Christianity is not a religion that finds its ultimate meaning in sadness, in spite of the fact that Jesus went to the cross and invites us to take up our own cross.  We have been made for peace and joy in the love of Christ. Paradoxically, Christ’s offering of himself and our own self-offering in Christ are what bring this peace and joy.  Even as we struggle, even as we stumble and fall, we know that joy is our destination.

So we pray with boldness,

Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.

- – – – – – – – – -

Red wine photograph by Rose Hoover, rc

But the wine for which we pray is one that gladdens the heart without causing traffic accidents, costing jobs, ruining health, or breaking up families.

The inebriation for which we pray is “that of which the poets and mystics have written when they said that they were drunk with the love of Christ, inebriated with God, set reeling with the thought of God’s glory and of God’s love for them.”

Mother Mary Francis, Anima Christi:

Soul of Christ (Ignatius Press, 2001), 29-30.

Christianity is not a religion that finds its ultimate meaning in sadness, in spite of the fact that Jesus went to the cross and invites us to take up our own cross. We have been made for peace and joy in the love of Christ. Even as we struggle, we know that joy is our destination.

As Psalm 4:7 says:

You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.

So we pray with boldness, Blood of Christ, inebriate me!

One Response to “Blood of Christ, Inebriate Me”

  1. Elizabeth Hillmann says:

    After a program that I gave in a Portuguese Parish in Massachusetts, I looked out my bedroom window because I could hear a live band playing. There in the courtyard between the convent and the Church the people were all dancing joyfully. Blood of Christ inebriate me!

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