Along with the image of the Pilgrim MTA, some people bring these cards with a prayer for the sick and the suffering. The short prayer is a prayer written by Father Joseph Kentneich (1885-1968) in the concentration camp of Dachau and paraphrased by Eugene Best, from Madison.
It is an offering prayer for those who are sick or to be prayed with and for them. It gives them hope and comfort. It helps those suffering and the care-givers to see the redemptive meaning of suffering.
A lightning rod attracts and directs a lightning strike down to the ground. Similarly, the suffering of the sick, the elderly, and the homebound, offered up with those of Christ on Calvary, has the power to draw down graces of sanctification and renewal upon the world and the Church. In one of his talks to the sick, Father Kentenich, realizing the redemptive power of suffering said, “What would have been of us without our ministry to the sick, the lightning rods of the family?” (Father J. Kentenich, May 27, 1966)
Through this prayer we become aware of our responsibility as members of the mystical body of Christ, to offer our suffering out of love. When we do that, we are contributing our part in the plan of salvation. In Schoenstatt we call this contributions to the capital of grace.
The term capital of grace refers to the prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings, joys, and efforts freely offered to the Mother of God. Through these we may collaborate with the work of God’s grace in us (cf. CCC 2000). It is an essential part of the Schoenstatt covenant spirituality. Everyone is called to participate in the redemptive power of the sufferings of Christ. Mary helps us to contribute our suffering in love and peace. Her attitude of obedience before the plan of God is our great inspiration.