Saints' Prayers

selected from the annals of history unto our current day


Meditations by St. Anselm of Canterbury

from the book, 'Meditations and Prayers'

First Meditation


We are the Body of Christ.

Yet why should I say that Christ has clothed thee with Himself, when He has joined thee to Himself so intimately as to choose that in the unity of the Church thou shouldest be of His very Flesh? Listen to the Apostle as he sets forth the witness of Scripture, "They two shall be in one flesh; I speak in Christ and in the Church" (Eph. v. 32). And then again meditate on the closeness of union of their espousal. "Ye are," he says, "the Body of Christ, and members of member." Treat, then, thy body and its members with the respect which beseems them; lest if thou treat them wrongfully by any heedless management soever, thou be subjected to so much the severer punishment for thy unworthy usage, as thou wouldest have been crowned with a nobler prize for treating them as they deserved. Thine eyes are the eyes of Christ; therefore thou mayest not turn thine eyes to gaze on any kind of vanity; for Christ is the Truth, to whom all vanity is entirely opposed. Thy mouth is the mouth of Christ; therefore thou mayest not -- I speak not of detractions, nor of lies -- thou mayest not open for idle speeches that mouth which should be reserved only for the praises of God and the edification of thy neighbour.

So, too, must thou think of the other members of Christ intrusted to thy keeping.

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