Violence seems to be everywhere in our world. The war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, with threats of the use of nuclear weapons and the spreading of the war into Europe. One of our generals says that he believes the United States will be at war with China by 2025 over Taiwan. That is terrifying, because that could also become a nuclear war. Meanwhile, we are seeing a new spate of mass shootings here in the US; and in Memphis, TN, we have seen five police officers murder a man in public and on video. These are isolated, especially horrifying incidents and do not include the day-to-day violence due to crime and abuse in our streets and in our homes.
As Christians we do not want to simply wring our hands and moan about how horrible the world is today. We have to be part of the solution. How can we do that?
We cannot change the whole world, but we can, with God’s help, change ourselves. That is always where we begin. War and violence emerge from the anger, the hatred, the resentment, the greed, the selfishness of the human heart. As followers of Christ, we are called to face those ugly realities within ourselves and bring them to Him, asking Him to change our hearts to be more like His.
Last Sunday we heard the Beatitudes, including the one that said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” We are called to not only be peaceful in our own relations with others but to be peace makers. We do this by praying for peace; praying for those who are filled with violence and hatred; praying for people filled with hurt and anger, which they might learn to forgive; praying for those who are afraid, that they might seek peaceful ways of resolving the frightening situations that they are in.
In 1917, at Fatima, our Blessed Mother foretold the horrors of war and violence that would wrack the 20th century. But she said that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart would be victorious. I believe that promise holds true for this century as well. To seek and find that peace, Mary said that we must Pray! Pray! Pray! Especially, we must pray the rosary.
You and I live in scary times. I recently shared with someone that I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nobody was really talking to us kids about what was going on, but it was clear to us that the adults around us were scared. I remember us sharing with one another on the playground what little we knew and understood, and probably much that was a misunderstanding of what was happening. But what I remember most is the atmosphere of fear. I share this, because I think we are in the most frightening time since those terrible days of October 1962.
Please, Pray! Pray! Pray!
–Fr. Mike Comer