An Associated Press article last week reported on a missile that blasted more than 100 miles into the atmosphere from Alaska’s Kodiak Island in the first of several tests planned this year for the National Missile Defense System. It is a ballistic interceptor intended to head off a nuclear missile fired by another country. We’re spending billions of dollars on all this to be more protected in America. Meanwhile, thousands of little chilldren starve to death every day in Biafra, Ethiopia, the Sudan… What if we took the billions of dollars we’re spending defending our lives, and used it to save the lives of these little Third World children? Would God look at this as offering to: “lay down one’s life for another.” Wouldn’t that be a ticket to eternity in Heaven, whether a foreign missile ever launched toward us, or not. But if we continue to choose to spend the billions in an attempt to stay safe in this world, and those little children keep dying… Where might that be a ticket to in eternity? Hint: While it begins with H, it’s not Heaven. Another hint: It’s a place that’s probably a lot hotter than, oh, the center of a nuclear bomb explosion. Note: As I write this, I’m in Rosemond, California, just west of Edwards Air Force Base. While we were in Lancaster, California (just south of here), yesterday, we observed a number of elaborate downtown murals with the portraits of test pilots and their planes in the backgrounds. (They did the testing on these supersonic fighter jets, and the like, at Edwards.) Seeing all this, I couldn’t help but think about all the wasted technological smarts and hours that went into the development of all these planes when we could have — just been sacrificing and praying the Rosary.) In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to some children at Fatima, Portugal, and said to avert World War I and World War II — during which a lot of these planes were developed — mankind was to sacrifice and “pray the Rosary daily for world peace.” Not enough people did. Our Lady’s predictions came true. Funny (in a tragic sense), in walking into the Rosemond Library, there is a highly-creative bronze sculpture of a young boy in overalls running and holding a model plane aloft, characterizing the military aeronautical ethos around here. Above the boy, is a huge picture of a black Stealth fighter in flight. I couldn’t help but think what might have been much more spiritually significant for this generation, and the ones to come in these parts (and all over the world), would have been this same bronzed boy, not running, but on his knees: praying the Rosary — to avert World War III.