This is the seventh of a series of posts reflecting line-by-line on the Anima Christi.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
In other words, give me shelter, Lord.
The Lord is our refuge. He keeps us safe from all evil and harm that can come from spiritual attack. When we attempt, in our own pride, to step outside of Christ, we come to spiritual ruin. This concept is so very important that special devotions are made to these wounds.
In my research I found the Rosary (or Chaplet) of the Holy Wounds. This devotion to the Holy Wounds and the promises were revealed to Sr. Mary Martha Chambon (1841-1907), of the Monastery of the Visitation of Chambery. She experienced visions form the age of five. The Lord revealed to her these prayers and promises and the cause for her beatification was introduced in 1937. The promises remarkably invoke Christ’s wounds as a refuge and salvation. This devotion is a relatively new means of prayer within the Catholic Tradition.
The prayer on the large beads of the rosary is as follows:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To heal the wounds of our souls.
This prayer reveals just exactly what Christ’s suffering does for us. Christ shelters us, because He suffered for us; we do not deserve this refuge, but He endures it to keep us close and in his care.
By examining each of the physical wounds that Christ endured, we can better understand what this portion of the Anima Christi means.
• nailing to cross through right hand
• nailing to cross through left hand
• nailing to cross through right foot
• nailing to cross through left foot
• Piercing of side by Holy Lance of Longinus
In the course of his Passion, Jesus suffered other wounds as well, such as those from the crown of thorns and from the flagellation. (Wikipedia)
We ask to be hidden in his right hand, the hand that acts, the hand that is favored. We remain within this wound to be cradled and caressed. The right hand symbolizes God’s omnipotence; we are safe and secure within His power.
We are also within the wound in His left hand, which is known to symbolize divine, just, judgment. God’s judgment is also crucial to our well-being, so being within the wound holds us to the standard He expects of us.
Christ’s feet held him on the cross, as we are within these wounds, we are asking God to keep us strong and steadfast. We are within the base of that which holds Christ up, and we are asked to hold Christ up and revere him.
His side wound keeps us sheltered close to His heart. As water flowed from the wound, we are cleansed and renewed. We have to as Christ to keep us near to his heart and truly shelter us. Christ’s side was pierced with the Holy Lance of Longinus, a Roman soldier. It was believed that whoever possesses the Holy Spear and understands the powers it serves, holds is his hand the destiny of the world for good or evil (Vatican.com).
The prophetic words of the prophet Isaiah explain it well: “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Asking to be hidden within the wounds of Christ is an invocation for safety, justice, security, confidence, affection, and above all a prayer of thanks that God was willing to sacrifice His beloved son, Christ was willing to suffer, and the Holy Spirit was willing to inspire us to try to be worthy of it all.
Charla is a life-long Catholic, married since 1995. She has three children who attend Catholic school and university. Charla has been teaching high school English literature at the same Catholic high school she attended for over 15 years. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Latin American Studies, and Secondary Education, as well as a Masters degree in Education. Charla has served as a lector and Eucharistic minister at her parish and school. She enjoys reading, cooking, running, and all activities involving her children. Her special devotions are to the Blessed Mother, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and the Holy Rosary.