(Apologies and gratitude to St. Ignatius of Loyola who included the original Anima Christi prayer as part of his Spiritual Exercises and which was the inspiration for this reflection.)
Dogwood flowers dance
on the fingertips of branches
at the touch of a breeze.
Each mandala blossom turned skyward
gazes into the naked eye of Christ…
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Pressing my bare toes into the sun-drenched dirt
I whisper, “dust to dust”
as this great body beneath my feet
embraces my humanity.
Body of Christ, save me.
Pear trees radiant in evening light
Churn into a frothy river
and flow down the street.
A soft breeze touches the tree above me
and blossoms let loose a waterfall of petals.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
The purple plum bleeds flowers
across the lawn and into the street
where car tires and bikes and the feet of playing children
become the winepress of its red beauty.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
The redbud’s passion for the lengthening light
burns from its branches
til the tree glows lavender and
even old wounds on its trunk bleed flowers.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
Great Cosmic Christ,
through the windows of your hands and feet,
the doorway of your side,
You invite me in to rest, reminding me that
this spring feast is only a paltry reminder
of your prodigality,
I yearn for the marriage of death
When nothing will keep me from you.
– Reflection and photo by Sister Joyce Lehman