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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A prominent American cardinal is asking people to "storm Heaven" by praying the Rosary.
Cardinal Raymond Burke is asking people to pray the Rosary on December 1 in a "spiritual crusade" called Operation Storm Heaven — a campaign to pray one Rosary on the first day of each month, offering it in union with a Mass Cdl. Burke will offer in Rome.
Thomas McKenna, head of the group promoting the initiative, spoke with Church Militant. Knowing and working closely with Cdl. Burke for over 20 years, McKenna explained that part of the appeal behind the movement is that it is led and initiated by a Catholic prelate.
"When was the last time you heard about a prelate who initiated a national campaign of prayer?" he asked.
The effort's purpose is to encourage people to "besiege Heaven with prayer" in order to "dispel confusion" and "spread the Light of Truth throughout America and the world," by asking "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the angels and saints" in "a united voice" to "hear our prayers and to come to our aid."
The intention for the Rosary is to "dispel confusion" as well as:
bring Hope to souls and minds throughout America and the world
make reparation for the sins and offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary
provide spiritual support in the struggle against the temptations of discouragement
to protect our families and our faith
to stop the advance of evil in our society
and to flood souls with grace and light and truth
Cardinal Burke comments that praying the Rosary is "a response to the great challenges of our time," describing it as a response of "deep Christian faith" and prayer.
"You will find that it'll be a great help to your own perseverance and Christian witness in these difficult times," he says. "And at the same time it will bring great blessings to your home and your family and in that way also bring a great blessing to our world."
He notes that the Rosary is "one of the most powerful forms of prayer" and "one of the most powerful ways by which Our Lady draws us to her Only Begotten Son Who alone is our salvation."
Operation Storm Heaven is promoted by Catholic Action for Faith and Family, a San Diego-based organization founded by McKenna, with Cdl. Burke and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone as spiritual advisors.
McKenna told Church Militant that initially Operation Storm Heaven was focused on issues affecting the United States. But in a short time it has spread into a worldwide movement.
So far more than 68,000 people around the world pledged to offer their Rosaries on the first of every month with the goal to have 1 million people — asserting that 1 million people praying the Rosary "could change the course of history." He disclosed that the number partaking in the operation is actually higher than that because many priests have involved their parishioners in the prayers.
McKenna goes further to say that people who pledge their Rosary on the first of the month are included in the cardinal's Mass intentions as well as the intentions of all other people praying on that day.