Prayer matters for Ukraine and beyond
Published 5:39 pm Friday, March 18, 2022
By Chris Quilpa
As Lenten season is in full swing, may our journey be filled with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. May we continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and Russia, and the rest of the world.
Whether you believe in miracles or not, whether you believe in Mary (Holy mother of Jesus, our spiritual mother) and her apparition, allow me, please, to share with you my thoughts and what I’ve watched and learned these days as we continue our observance of Lent.
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The season of Lent is a 40-day season given by our church to do something to make a difference, a sacrifice on our part for our world, while we reflect and commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The 40-day church event symbolizes also the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert praying before his crucifixion.
During Lent, there is one important thing we, young and old, can offer or do while glued to our TV sets, watching what has been happening in Ukraine in recent weeks with Russian military troops in “special military operation.” Invasion of Ukraine by Russia is what the media and many are saying. That’s what we believe, too. As Christians, we have a responsibility to our fellow brethren wherever they may be. As members of the catholic (universal) church, we suffer when we see our brethren suffer. We feel their pain.
Our prayer matters. It is our prayer that can bring us together to love peace. It is our prayer that can change our and others hearts. Praying doesn’t cost us anything but a few minutes of our time. It requires only our faith in our Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, and his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer.
Prayer can do wonders. They can make a difference in our life, in our world. If we pray together, miracles do happen.
Let us pray to God for peace in Ukraine where there is war going on. Let us pray for Russia. Let us pray for peace between these two countries and around the world.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on what I can do to make my Lenten journey meaningful, while at the same time trying to find out what I, as an ordinary retired military veteran, can do with regards to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
I know, whether we like it or not, we are affected with what’s going on there day by day, for as long as there are brave journalists-reporters covering the “war.” We cannot just brush it off or ignore it because we are part of the human family, the human race that matters to all of us. Our humanity is at stake. Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are suffering, and sacrificing their lives and many of them are fleeing, up to this time, to neighboring states.
Dear folks, we have to pray together for war to stop, that there is peace in Ukraine and Russia, and other parts of the world where there is chaos, lawlessness, aggression, oppression.
On the first Saturday of Lent, my wife and I watched a video on YouTube, after attending an online Mass and praying the Holy Rosary. This video is by Divine Mercy, with Father Chris Alar, MIC, which stands for Marians (Fathers) of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic male clerical religious congregation founded in 1670, in Poland, that has expanded its membership to the U.S. and other parts of the world.
In the 49-minute YouTube video by Divine Mercy, “Explaining the Faith: Ukraine, Russia, Fatima: What Heaven is Telling Us?” published on March 5, 2022, Father Alar led a short prayer before he spoke to the church audience at The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He emphasized his talk was not a political talk while discussing the topics mentioned above.
He talked briefly about Ukraine’s history in relation to Catholic Church. He mentioned Lenin, Poland, apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Poland, Ukraine, Fatima; about St. Pope John Paul II (a native of Poland), the collapse of Soviet Union, the independence of Ukraine, the first country in the whole world to be consecrated to Mary.
Father Alar mentioned one of Mary’s apparitions in Ukraine, and read Mary’s message: “Forgive your enemies. Through you and the blood of the martyrs will come the conversion of Russia. Repent and love one another. The times are coming which have been foretold as being those in the end times. See the desolation which surrounds the world, the sins, the sloth,the genocide. Pray for Russia. Oppression and wars continue to occupy the minds and hearts of many people. Russia, despite everything, continues to live in darkness. If there is not a return of Christianity to Russia there will be a third world war and the whole world faces ruin.”
He cautioned us to not despair nor be depressed but to pray for Ukraine and Russia. That’s what we’re doing, I do believe.
He talked about another apparition of Mary at Fatima (Portugal). He read Mary’s message: “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Now, we have to do our part, dear folks. Let us pray and do penance, as we continue observing fasting and giving alms, sharing of our time, talents, treasures and giving up something as a form of sacrifice to alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine and Russia.
Let us pray for good health, for continued disappearance of COVID-19 pandemic, and for peace in Ukraine and Russia, and the rest of the world. Together, we have to sacrifice for our life-world in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and other people who are experiencing oppression and lawlessness.
May our prayers to you, Almighty God, be fruitful and meaningful. May peace reign over Ukraine and Russia, and the rest of the world. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Amen.
Chris A. Quilpa, a retired Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.