Traveling in our cars can often be the most frustrating experience and can put a damper on the rest of the day. Our emotions can easily be swayed by the slightest change in traffic or even the weather.
One set of tools the Church has provided to help keep our focus on God while driving on the road is sacramentals. These are usually religious objects blessed by a priest to call down a particular grace from God. They have been instituted by the Church to draw us into a deeper relationship with Christ and are focused on sanctifying every part of our lives. Sacramentals are extensions of the seven sacraments and bring the grace of God into everything that we do.
Another benefit of sacramentals is the ability to call down God’s protecting hand over us. While sacramentals won’t necessarily prevent you from getting into an accident, they are potent reminders to ask for God’s providential care. Many people have testified to miraculous events connected to the proper use of sacramentals that preserved their life or the lives of those closest to them.
Here are three such sacramentals that, if used properly, can provide spiritual focus and divine protection as you travel in your car.
Among the many blessings the Church provides is a special blessing for cars. It is typically done by a priest or deacon and invokes God’s special care over your vehicle. The blessing is typically performed once and endures for the life of the car, though it likely could be used more than once, especially before a major trip. Here is the powerful prayer that asks God to appoint angels as your escort.
Lord God, be well disposed to our prayers, and bless + this vehicle with your holy hand. Appoint your holy angels as an escort over it, who will always shield its passengers and keep them safe from accidents. And as once by your deacon, Philip, you bestowed faith and grace upon the Ethiopian seated in his carriage and reading Holy Writ, so also now show the way of salvation to your servants, in order that, strengthened by your grace and ever intent upon good works, they may attain, after all the successes and failures of this life, the certain happiness of everlasting life; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
Normally worn underneath clothing, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a powerful sacramental that comes with many “promises” for those who wear it in faith. Some people not only wear the scapular, but also drape a small scapular on back of the driver’s seat. This way no matter who is driving the car, Our Lady’s protection is invoked. Here is what St. John Paul II had to say about the power of the Brown Scapular.
Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular: on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life’s journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honor on certain occasions, but must become a “habit,” that is, a permanent orientation of one’s own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Is the brown scapular just a Catholic “lucky charm”?
St. Christopher medal
One of the most common sacramentals used in cars is the popular St. Christopher medal. This is usually seen either as a visor clip or a statue that adheres to the dashboard. St. Christopher is known as the “patron saint of travelers” and his intercession is frequently invoked when traveling by car. Here is the “Motorist’s Prayer” that is said by many people before embarking on a journey.
Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, That no one shall be hurt as I pass by. You gave life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company, from the evils of fire and all calamity. Teach me to use my car for others’ need; Nor miss through love of undue speed The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
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