Living on a Prayer

The world feels like it's falling apart, doesn't it? It's felt like that for a while, of course, and we've discussed that in articles in the past. But it seems like that feeling won't be going anywhere for a while.

So what should we do in response?

Try this. It may seem like it's just making matters worse, but if you make it through to the end, it'll be well worth it.

Stop a moment. Take a deep breath. Relax.

Then think about the news of the day.

Think about the ongoing challenges to our constitutional system originating from the day-to-day doings of Washington, D.C. Think of the violence taking place at home and abroad, and the many different culture wars being fought as a result.

Think of the loss of faith across the West. Think of the challenges faced by many dioceses and religious communities when it comes to vocations, being able to afford traditional charities or institutions, and all those challenges. Think of the sins of those within the Church, as well as the assaults of the enemies of the Church from without.

Think of the ravages of the sexual revolution, of the "gender ideology" being pushed from the great capitals of culture in the world and in our own country. Think of the many novelties being taught in schools. Think of the culture of death.

Think of the economic challenges you face, and that so many others face these days. Think of the homeless, of the jobless, of the underemployed or those trapped in dead end jobs, in dead end careers.

Think of all these things, as well as all the other sources of stress, of pain, or of suffering in your life and the lives of those around you.

And then pick up your Rosary beads, bring all those challenges to God, and pray.

Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in response to all of these sources of stress. Ideally, pray the Chaplet at the Hour of Great Mercy, 3 p.m., while venerating the Divine Mercy Image, for nine days in a row. But if you can't do all that, at least pick up your rosary beads and pray.

Let all that stress fuel your prayer. Let all those challenges be the things you bring to Jesus, the Divine Mercy; to the Father, who is rich in mercy (see Eph 2:4); and to the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

And trust. Trust in Jesus' promises to St. Faustina:

I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 687). Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (Diary, 1731)

Let every stress, every bit of anger or despair, every time you watch the news or listen to the radio lead you to pray, not to give up. Let the faults and follies of our leaders draw your intercession, not your condemnation. Let scandal cause you to look to Heaven; let sin inspire you to ask God's mercy on the sinner; let pain lead you to intercession.

Let's take the vessel of trust and draw forth God's grace. Then we will change the world, and for the better.

Chris Sparks is author of How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question (Marian Press).


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