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Editorial: Time of divisions calls for rosary devotion

In the month of August alone, how many crises have there been? In addition to the natural disaster striking the Gulf of Mexico, on the human side of the equation we have faced a renewed threat of nuclear war, an appalling resurgence of racial bigotry, a despicable act of domestic terrorism, shocking riots that reflect a growing embrace of political violence as a means of resolving disputes or enforcing ideology.

Those are just some of the lowlights of a culture given over to sins that cry out to heaven for justice and seemingly descending into factions full of mutual loathing, with pundits openly discussing the relatively likelihood of a second civil war.

If dark clouds have been forming on the horizon for years, it seems now the storm has arrived.

In these difficulties, we turn to God. As we pray to him in the Psalms, “In the shadow of your wings I take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”

But in the midst of all this, we are also called to be peacemakers.

Fortunately, one of the tools God has given us both for taking refuge in the shadow of his wings and for working for peace comes readily to hand — the rosary. Over the years, some of the intentions most closely associated with the rosary are prayers for peace, for the conversion of sinners, and for our families. These are certainly very fitting intentions right now.

Some of these intentions appear prominently in the message of the Fatima apparitions, the 100th anniversary of which the church is honoring even now. In them, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked people to pray the rosary daily. Another effort has many Catholics currently in the midst of a 54-day rosary novena for our nation.

This all comes with a special poignance in our diocese, where Our Lady of the Rosary is our patroness. If you haven’t already, please prayerfully consider making the rosary a regular, even daily part of your prayer life.

Pray for peace. Pray for the conversion of sinners. Pray for families.