prayer for the right use of illness

Lord, bless the sick. All who know or feel that they are sick, all who are in pain, all who are about to die.

Bless them not merely with enough strength to endure the pain, bless them also so that they may learn to bear it for you and to see in suffering a grace. Show them that every suffering has been given a meaning by your suffering on the Cross, a meaning that the Father has integrated into the meaning of your own suffering and has made useful for the redemption of the world.

Show them that, if they are willing to suffer in your name, pain and illness become fruitful; that you can use them to help others, to lighten their load, to unblock paths that would otherwise be closed.

Give them not only strength and courage but also patience. Give them, lastly, love for the sufferings that are asked of them: the love that can spring only from your love and can bear fruit only together with your love-- even though this fruit is hidden from their sight, even though they do not know where you intend to use the grace that comes from their suffering.

May your grace enable them to radiate such love in the midst of their illness that others are infected by it, that their suffering helps to transfigure the suffering of others, that it reveals to the nurses and doctors who work with them a reality that until now they had not known, that it becomes a fresh revelation to their visitors of the meaning of life and death.

Give them all such a state of maturity that they may accept absolutely everything as coming from your hand and see in every pain something that surpasses all pain; your grace. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 40-42