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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« On the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary | Main | Blog Update »

March 21, 2007

Comments

Lily

Good points!

I remember driving down to see my uncle possibly for the last time. His daughter had finally arrived, and thus, he had finally acquiesced to his cancer-agonized body's need to let go, or at least get to some morphine at the hospital. Both, as it turned out. I was barreling down the highway and couldn't have thought straight to truly pray, so I prayed one prayer over and over as my mother had often done while trying to think of ways to escape a raging alcoholic sometimes standing there with two loaded guns demanding a duel:

"Hail Mary, full of grace.. "

In crisis times, thankfully, the Holy Spirit takes over and prays properly. There are times when we can pray just fine, tho', as you point out, and we should, ought and must do so. An offering of praise or gratitude right out of the clear blue must surely please Him.

I no longer try to pray in the car, because it either distracts from my driving, or the driving distracts from prayer.. but I pray before entering a(ny) vehicle, and make the Sign of the Cross on it, and on myself.

CatholicOutsider

There was a time when I tried to say the rosary while driving. I gave up on it though, because it gave me the feeling that I was "desperately" praying when I should be relaxing and trusting that everything would be okay.

Also, I notice people that some people hang their rosary beads from their rear view mirror. I've been thinking about doing that, but for some reason I feel like I would be insincere if I did it. Sort of like I'm showing off my faith to others. Do you think that it would be okay to do that? Is there any spiritual benefit by doing such a thing?

Deacon DW

Catholic Outsider--while I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to show people that you're Catholic, whether that means putting rosary beads on your rear view mirror or wearing a crucifix, beware of false pride. Since you feel a little like it might be insincere, you might want to explore your motivation.

As to whether there is any spiritual benefit to be gained from hanging a rosary from your mirror, I'd say emphatically yes if it reminds you to pray. However, you should avoid being superstitious about the rosary. Hanging a rosary beads from your mirror won't protect you from having a wreck. I once knew a fellow whose son was a military paratrooper. He carried a rosary on each jump even though he was not Catholic--this kind of thing is not faith, it's just superstition; maybe even the enemy of faith.

If you practice your Catholic faith, practice your devotions, praying, and attending Mass faithfully, your being Catholic will shine brightly to the world around you. In time you won't question whether things are sincere or not, you'll just do them out of habit.

Keep reading--I'll be posting more soon.

Gabrielle

Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts on renewing our baptismal commitment during Lent, deacon dan. I had not thought about the idea of renewing our dedication to living a stronger Catholic identity.

In the car, I was thinking, a rosary on CD might be less distracting than counting on your fingers?

Deacon DW

Yes, Gabrielle, a rosary on CD is a dandy idea--you can get one of our great Pope John Paul praying the rosary. In some ways I think that praying on your fingers is less a driving distraction than beads or a rosary ring. The idea of praying the rosary in the car just came to me way back during my catechumenate. I prayed with beads in the car back then. I'll never forget how much I loved rosary beads from the first time I held them in my hands!

While I was in diaconal formation my spiritual director, a secular Carmelite deacon, also recommended praying in the car to Our Lady.

Whatever you choose, let it come from your heart. My choice more and more is to pray the Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours before I leave the house, and then quietly consider the presence of God on my way to work.

forget me not

Most cars in Italy have manual transmission, so a rosary bead and even a rosary ring are quite dangerous. I've used my fingers often...
Some of my most cherished family memories are of the family praying the rosary on long drives (anything over 1/2 hour was considered long enough to say the rosary).

Gabrielle

dd, are you going to be getting out of the car soon?

Deacon DW

I don't know Gabrielle, I'm sort of fond of my car and there's a lot to drive around and pray about.

The truth is that this week has been busier than usual in terms of what has been required of me at work. I may have something new tonight--let's see if I can get out of the car and back on the blog!

forget me not

DD, just to let you know I've changed my blog site. Looking forward to your next post..

Lily

Sir, we're the Blog PD. (D'oh, not yet, Dano! Give that bullhorn back to me.) I order you to pull over. Thank you. Okay, what I want you to do for me is to slowly step out of the vehicle -- Wait! show me your hands!.. ok, now place them on the keyboard... please.

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