Contributions to the Capital of Grace
From Schoenstatt’s early beginnings, efforts to strive for self-sanctification found concrete expression in the contributions to the capital of grace. “Diligently bring me contributions to the capital of grace…earn many merits and place them at my disposal,” we read in Founding Document of 18 October 1914.
The Church’s teaching on merits and our possibility to cooperate in Christ’s work of salvation encourages us to actively strive for sanctity and make ourselves available for the building up of Christ’s Kingdom. [see Col 1:24: “In my own flesh I make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, the Church”]
In Schoenstatt, a unique way of expressing this is: contributions to the capital of grace. In the covenant of love with Mary, we consciously bring her our prayers, sacrifices, and striving for sanctity. We so-to-say turn over the merits of these good works to the MTA for her mission in the service of Christ.
The image of capital is taken from finance, where large sums need to be gathered for major undertakings such as establishing a business. From 1915 on, Schoenstatt has spoken of a different type of capital: What we bring to Mary in the shrine comes together (like funds from investors) to assist the MTA in whatever major undertakings she has in mind from the shrine, especially those relating to the moral and religious renewal of the world in Christ. Because this capital is not financial, but on the level of grace, it is called capital of grace.6-2011).
The theological foundations for this are found in the Church’s teaching in the Catechism of the Catholic Church under the communion of saints (945-948), intercessory prayer (2634-2636), and merits (2006-2011).