This moving prayer, known as a Prayer in Time of Sickness, is a wonderful appeal to our Lord for His grace as we offer our illnesses to Him in imitation of His sacrifice for us on the Cross at Calvary.
Jesus, You suffered and died for us. You understand suffering. Teach me to understand my suffering as You do; to bear it in union with You; to offer it with You to atone for my sins and to bring your grace to souls in need. Calm my fears; increase my trust. May I gladly accept your holy will and become more like You in trial. If it be your will, restore me to health so that I may work for your honor and glory and the salvation of all. Amen
While Christ’s Passion brought us our redemption, our Lord desires nonetheless that each of us unite our sickness and other troubles with His for the salvation of souls. This can transform our pain into atonement for sin, as we read above.
St. Augustine once wrote “God could in no way permit the kind of evil out of which He could not being good.” Christ’s Passion, death and Resurrection gives us the ultimate powerful example of this. Who would have thought that our Lord’s humiliation on the Cross would precede His triumph over sin and death for us all? He desires to bring as much good out of our misfortunes as we let Him.
This might become easier to manage if we put as much love as possible into offering up our sickness for ourselves and others. Our illnesses, like all our trials and tribulations, can indeed help us and others achieve salvation.
It also helps a great deal to keep our “eyes on the prize”: the bliss of Eternal Life in Heaven! St. Paul wrote that this magnificence may indeed be ours “if we suffer with Him [Christ], that we may also be glorified with Him” (Rom 8:17). In the same vein, St. John Vianney, the famous Patron Saint of Parish Priests once referred to our crosses as “the ladder to heaven.”
Also, as this Prayer in time of Sickness points out, if we can trust in God to see us through no matter what, we can glorify Him and contribute to our salvation (and that of others as well) in sickness and in health!