The Cost of Making War

Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain an end of the war.

—Our Lady of Fatima, September 13, 1917

In her spiritual commentary on these words of Our Lady of Fatima, Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the eldest of the three seers at Fatima, states that war can only be brought to an end by prayer and sacrifice. Of, course the “war” Our Lady is speaking of is the First World War. However, Sr. Lucia’s ties the praying of the Rosary to the end of all war. Her reflection about “the end of the war” is a long disquisition on the existence of evil spirits and our combat with them.  Salvation is a matter of spiritual combat.  Its weapons and tactics are not those of this world.  The prayer of the Rosary is, so to speak, the weapon of choice in the conflict at which our souls are at stake.

The Church Militant is the term used to identify the life of Christ’s followers on earth.  It is a general term that situates us between heaven (the Church Triumphant) and purgatory (the Church Suffering) in a state of crisis and combat.  St. Paul’s exhortation to put on the armor of God urges us to act like we are at war, to be aware of the “enmity” that exists between God and Satan and how that conflict is played out in our souls and in the history of men. St. Paul is clear about distinguishing this war from general human conflict:

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph 6:12). Continue reading

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