This is the eleventh and final of a series of posts reflecting line-by-line on the Anima Christi.
That with Your saints I may praise You forever and ever. Amen
This is the culmination of the entire prayer, its raison d’etre: to praise Jesus with the saints forever.
“After this I had a vision of a great multitude which no one could count from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the the throne and from the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshipped God and exclaimed, ‘Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 7:9-12)’.”
Well halleluia! That is from the apostle John’s visions of heaven, of course, and it is ours. But not only when we physically pass on from this world to the next. Eternity doesn’t begin when we die and are with Jesus. We’re in it now in this life on earth; eternity is not bound by time. We can, and indeed are directed to, praise God with all the saints (as well as the angels and the earth) throughout our lives.
From Psalms 148 and 150:
“Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him all you angels;
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Give praise, all shining stars;
Praise the Lord you sea monsters, you animals wild and tame;
You mountains, hills, fruit trees, and cedars;
You kings of the earth, young men and women, too;
Let them all praise the Lord’s name, for His name alone is exalted majestic above earth and heaven.
Praise with blasts upon the horn, the harp and lyre.
Give praise with tambourines and dance;
Praise Him with flutes and strings and crashing cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”
When Jesus’ followers were praising Him during the procession into Jerusalem, some of the Pharisees told Him to rebuke them and Jesus said, “I tell you, if they keep silent, then the stones will cry out!” Let’s not keep silent, shall we? Let’s have the stones join us, not do it for us! Praise is verbal affirmation of admiration. It should be heard (and apparently, loudly). It is not always easy, even though we know of the greatness of God, His salvation won at such a cost, His beauty and holiness. The final chapter of Hebrews reminds Christians that we seek the city which is to come and encourages us to “offer God a sacrifice of praise (13:15).” Sometimes, praising God is like dragging a sacrificial animal, kicking and bawling, to the altar. Our Lord accepts that kind of sacrifice, too.
All of the precious lines of this prayer of entreaty for Jesus’ sanctification, saving, washing, strengthening, hearing, etc., lead to this. “At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come unto You that with Your saints I may praise You forever and ever.” May we move through life and death praising God eternally. We are the people He has formed for Himself and we will announce His praise (Isaiah 43:21). This Advent, let us make praise a part of our devotion (maybe even with dancing and cymbals!). Let all the earth praise His Name!
Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at www.northerncffamily.blogspot.com, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.