by Ken Rolheiser
The Blessed Virgin Mary will bring Peace

We hold up in prayer our suffering brothers and sisters in Ukraine and Russia, and in all areas of world conflict. Sometimes it seems hopeless. We can do more than weep.

We have all been agonizing over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prayers around the world, along with the diplomacy of world nations, are keeping hope alive.

Ukraine is in the crucible of war, severely tested. Like a crucifixion, the suffering goes on, and we watch helplessly. But rosaries and novenas, and countless prayers on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram storm heaven continuously.

In “A Prayer for Hope in the Wreckage” Leah Perrault prays: “Since God grieves with the ones who mourn, shares in their sorrow, echoes in the rallying cries of peace and justice, I know deeper than I have known anything in my life that God does not cause destruction. 

“I’m counting grains of sand, strollers and canned good, notes of the Ukrainian anthem sung by my neighbours. I am counting the tears of refugees, the bodies of the dying, the impossible number of dreams left behind. I am gathering up the wreckage to offer it back to the One who will make it all new.” 

Her moving prayer continues: “Give us the strength to love for this moment and the next one. Keep us counting the cost, measuring the weight, bearing one another’s burdens.”

Philip Kosloski in Aleteia 03/09/22 says, the third "secret" of Fatima revealed that a potential World War III could be stopped by the radiance of Our Lady. Sister Lucia’s vision saw “an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him.”

The Angel pointed to the earth with his right hand crying: “Penance, Penance, Penance.”

How quickly mankind forgets! Notre Dame des Victoires in Paris was built in thanksgiving for Louis XIII’s defeat of the Protestant Huguenots at the Siege of La Rochelle — which, like Lepanto, was a victory of the rosary. Over 15,000 sets of beads were reportedly handed out to Louis’s army. 

When the atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima there was total destruction for 1.5 kilometers around. A small house, only eight buildings from the point of the explosion, remained intact.

It was the presbytery where eight Jesuit fathers were living. They recited the rosary daily. None of them was affected by the bomb, and they emerged alive and in perfect health. The home was a simple everyday Japanese construction.

We live in hope and trust. We pray to Mary, the undoer of knots, imploring her to soften the hearts of Putin and world leaders to bring about peace, the message the Angels brought at Christmas so long ago.

We donate money and goods to the stewards of our choice and bring relief as quickly as we can to refugees and victims of war. And we steel our nerves in trust that God’s will be done on earth as in heaven.

Our hope is in Mary’s words at Fatima and in so many apparitions since then: “Pray the Rosary. Pray for Peace.” We have not yet done all that we can. Let us dry our tears. There is work to be done.

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