The Rosary for Warriors began out of a grief and concern for the families of deceased Soldiers. My husband and I had just attended a memorial service of a friend who’d been killed in Iraq in 2004. It was the first of too many. We mourned his death and that of all the others taken too soon from their families.
This is not the way it is supposed to be, of course. Fathers shouldn’t outlive sons; sons shouldn’t grow up without fathers. But, the evil men do to each other is done through free will on their part, not God’s will. Yes, the Lord sometimes allows things to happen and we wonder why, but we must grieve and cry with hope, not despair. This world is not our home. That’s what we must cling to. Our solace is that we believe in a God who brings us Home after our time on this earth. And that our grief as mortals, with our very human hearts, which the Lord knows so well, is God’s grief as well. And we get to be angry, and so very sad. The Lord is standing with us in our pain, I just know it.
And let us consider the widow and orphan. We are called to care for them all. We are Jesus’ hands, feet, arms, voice. He knew sadness and grief when his kinsman and biggest supporter, John the Baptist, was murdered. He knew loneliness when all of the people He loved deserted Him as He made His way to the cross. He knew fear as He hung on that cross asking, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned me?” We must all go to the Lord for comfort and strength. Go to the Lord with our anger and tears. He can handle it. Cling to the hope of eternal life. That may not be helpful at the early stage of the game, when our hearts are aching, and breaking, for our losses. But in time, I pray it will be.
Thousands in the U.S. Military have died since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. The number of wounded from these wars is in the tens of thousands. They need our prayers, as well. There are many amputees, many blinded and those who are changed irreparably due to the terrorists’ reprehensible use of IEDs. Then there are the emotional wounds no one else will ever see, but will know of in the personality changes in their loved ones. I feel we must do something more – as Catholics, as people in or formerly in the Military, as Americans.
These are the reasons why I devised the Rosary for Warriors. The deployed, the wounded, the deceased, the families of all of these, and our nation need our prayers. Of course I have been praying for our Soldiers every day, and for their families. I know you have, too. But I have come to believe that we need to rise up with one voice with our prayer and supplication. Rise up with one voice of praise, of thanksgiving for our many blessings, asking forgiveness for our many sins, and earnestly asking for God’s healing, protection, and blessings.
Please consider starting this where you live. The day or time your Church decides on is not important. Just gathering regularly to do it, is sufficient. And, of course, you can certainly pray in your own home by yourself, or with family and friends any time. May our Blessed Mother unite her prayers with ours as we turn to Her Son seeking His will, as we wait upon the Lord.
(Best used with the Sorrowful Mysteries)
1st Decade: For deployed Troops and for their safety
2nd Decade: For wounded Troops and for their healing, both physical & spiritual
3rd Decade: For deceased Troops and for the repose of their souls
4th Decade: For all families of deployed, wounded, and deceased Troops. For the strength & the comfort only the Lord can provide.
5th Decade: For our nation, for the victims of war, and for peace in the world
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Michael, pray for us.
“Rosary for Warriors” contributed by Lynda MacFarland.