Sunday, July 20, 2014

My New Favorite Prayer - The Anima Christi (with a free printable)

This year's Vacation Bible School was wonderful for many reasons. The children seemed to really enjoy it and all of the feedback I have received from parents has been nothing but positive. How wonderful to see our children making rosaries and asking to pray them at night! How wonderful to hear them sing the Magnificat; the Song of Mary from Luke's Gospel! How wonderful to see them making friendships within our faith community!
Veronica at the front of the Church, ready to lead VBS camp songs.
I also had the opportunity to spend the week with my co-director as she anticipates a new baby girl later this month. What a special, exciting time to share with her!

I also love Vacation Bible School because inevitably I learn more about my faith. This year, I would take Teresa in each day to nurse in the Youth Room at Christ the King. As I sat there feeding my babe, I would read the prayers that were posted all over the walls of the room. In doing so, I have discovered my new favorite prayer: The Anima Christi.

As the youth of Christ the King are obviously familiar with this prayer, I am a little embarrassed to say that I had never heard it. But that is something that I absolutely love and cherish about our Catholic faith--its richness and depth. Even the most scholarly Catholics cannot learn everything there is to know about our faith. We are born into a tradition on the shoulders of theologians and saints from the past two thousand years. We cannot possibly ever grasp all of the wisdom there is to be gained from their words and experiences.

Furthermore, as a people, we continue to study, reflect and pray about God's Word, the lives of the saints and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thus, if we continue to reach out, if we continue to yearn to know the Lord in a deeper way, we are so blessed in that we can delve deeper and further into our faith, into God's Word and into prayer. 

Thus, our relationship with Jesus is never stagnant! It can continue to grow, to mature, to deepen and to nourish our needs throughout the changes of our life. But we have to yearn for that and seek it out.

As Father Brad has told us, "The Holy Spirit tends to go where it is wanted."

As I read this prayer for the first time, I felt as though I had written it myself. I don't say that to imply that I could ever write such a beautiful prayer, but only because I could relate to it on such a deep, spiritual way that I felt as though I had written it myself.

Just in trying to learn more about the Anima Christi, I have found that there is much to know. So far, I have found three English versions, while the original medieval version was of course written in Latin.

Furthermore, over at Catholic Sistas, there is a series of posts featuring beautiful line-by-line reflections on the Anima Christi. I haven't read them all yet, but what I have read so far has been very inspiring.

Anyway, I have created a free printable of the prayer to share with you in case you want to learn it too. I hope you are inspired by its beautiful words as I am.

(Click the above link to download the prayer so that you can print it easily.)

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