Does the idea of a possible nuclear war to North Korea make you shudder? Are you disturbed by the increase in terrorism around the globe? Do the consistent attacks on Christians and their values in so many formerly Christian nations around the world leave you feeling alone and helpless?
It's enough to leave even the most stouthearted among us feeling dejected and even discouraged.
But this is not what our faith teaches us to do when we are faced with times of rampaging evil. As the Lord instructs in Jeremiah 31: "Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord, ... There is hope for your future, says the Lord; your sons shall return to their own borders."
As many of you may know, thirteen years ago, I suffered my own personal disaster when my only son was killed in a car accident just a few months after returning home from Iraq. On that fateful morning, when the police officer showed up at my door to tell me the terrible news, I picked up the Rosary in a new way and have had it in my hands ever since.
Through these holy beads, the Blessed Mother extended her maternal hand toward me and pulled me out of the mire of grief to see there was hope - for my son, for my husband, for me, for our daughters, and for our extended family. The Rosary became a spiritual weapon that opened my heart and tortured soul to the treasury of grace its mysteries contain. Historical battles have been won as holy men and women plied these holy beads with hope, faith, and confidence in God. They were certain that God would intervene - and He did, through the intercession of Our Blessed Lady.
October 7, 2017, in addition to being the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, it is also the 446th anniversary of the historic Battle of Lepanto. This battle saw a fledgling Christian navy defeat a vastly superior Muslim armada to preserve the Christian foundation of Europe - and all because Europe united in a continent-wide Rosary campaign. If it could happen then, it can happen now!
Let us take up our Rosaries in union with every other soul who chooses to enlist in this campaign along with the more than one million souls in Poland who have pledged to use this powerful weapon on that day to pray for the protection of their nation.
I propose that you enlist in this effort as a knight in this Kingdom Family of God. Our weaponry will not be bombs detonated by crazed suicide bombers. Our strategy and tactics will not be barbarism and horror. Our weaponry will be the Rosary. We will lift it high, and cry out with St. Michael the Archangel, "Who Is Like Unto God?" - and our victory will be certain.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God tells His people, "if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land. Now my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place."
Our "land" is not restricted to country borders. It extends to all of our brothers and sisters no matter their national stripe. Let us join together, then, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, and members of the global community.
Brothers and Sisters in Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Central America, South America, Mexico, all of eastern and western Europe, let us join together!
Brothers and Sisters in all countries of the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Greenland, Iceland, let us join together!
Let us pick up our weapon, the Rosary, and begin a new kind of battle - a battle of prayer - that is sure to engage the heavenlies and bring peace to this war-torn world.
WE have been called "for such a time as this." While our governments and world organizations approach this complicated and terrorized time through the authority God has entrusted to them, let us wield the power and authority that has been entrusted to us through prayer. Let us raise the weapon of the Rosary and engage this battle with confidence!
Let us stand against this rising tide of terrorism fueled as it is by hatred and barbarity. Like our ancestors in Faith who prayed the Rosary to great advantage and won wars because of it, let us, too, put this holy weapon into our hands and do the same!
Johnnette S. Benkovic