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Editorial: Pray for peace

If the global pandemic and major civil upheaval and even political violence in the United States over the past few years haven’t convinced us that we are living in strange, unpredictable, and consequential times, events unfolding across the world in response to the invasion of Ukraine should do the trick. 

It seems sometimes as if the whole geopolitical world map is being rewritten in a matter of days, with nations rethinking their whole foreign policy approach, old alliances being revitalized and new ones formed, and some being broken. The world economic system and other forms of “soft power” are being brought to bear in an unprecedented way to try to stop, or at least punish, the invasion. The threat of nuclear weapons looms larger than it has in decades, recalling scenes from the worst days of the Cold War. 

Meanwhile, the scenes in Ukraine are at times heartbreaking and inspiring, but what cannot be lost in the spectacle is the immense cost war always brings. People, including many civilians, are dying, and many more are injured. Half a million refugees have been sent fleeing. Homes and cities and the infrastructure of modern life are being destroyed in scenes that haven’t been witnessed in Europe since World War II. War’s costs on the battlefield are horrifying, but that is only the beginning of the evil it causes. 

For ordinary Russians, too, many of whom oppose the invasion, there will be devastating costs. 

As the invasion unfolded, Pope Francis called for prayer and fasting for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday. We should continue those prayers, for Ukraine and for peace in the whole world. In God’s providence, the Diocese of Duluth has been placed under the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary. The rosary has for centuries been considered one of the greatest prayers for peace. So please consider offering rosaries for peace in the Ukraine and beyond in these uncertain times.