Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Rosary in the Windshield

Relaxing on the couch after a long afternoon of painting, I looked up to see my toddler crouched over something, looking intently. Not having my glasses on, I had a hunch it was a frog or a toad. What it was doing in my living room is anyone’s guess. “Girls!” I called. My nine-year-old with the heart of a lion came to the rescue, catching the amphibian and letting it out the back door.

I was not sure whether the baby had touched it, but I figured she was due for a bath anyway. Lately she has not been liking the bathtub, and stands in it screaming until the unpleasantries are done with. Over her screaming, I heard the telephone ring. The answering machine picked up.

“Hello, you have reached the Miller residence. Please leave a message and have a nice day.”

I never say I will call you back or anything like that. I don’t say I’m sorry I missed your call. Many of the times I am not sorry I missed the call (as in telemarketers, usually) and have no intention of calling back. But I do hope you have a nice day, no matter who you are.

“Liz, are you there? If you’re there could you please pick up?”

It was my husband. I yelled to the girls to get the phone. They were supposed to be in the kitchen making lunches, but they were playing upstairs and were unable to get to the telephone on time.

From his tone, I knew it had something to do with the car. Recently his car passed the 300,000 mile mark and expired. He bought me another mini-van and took mine for work purposes. As soon as he took possession of it, the engine light came on. “Figures,” he had said.

I quickly rinsed off the baby, dried her off, dressed her, and called him back.

“I just got into a car accident,” he said.

Kevin is an excellent driver, but there is no accounting for people who will drive through red lights and stop signs in the areas he has to drive through for business on a daily basis. He has had more than his share of such episodes, and this was one of them.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Yeah, just aggravated,” he answered.

He was not too far from home, and soon everyone was able to kiss him hello before heading off to bed. We all inspected the dent where he had been t-boned, on the passenger side.

I thanked the Lord he was able to drive away from this one, and wondered how much the rosary had to do with it. The first thing I always put in a new car is a rosary, which I hang from the rear view mirror, wrapping it around so it is not too much of an obstruction.

I recalled a small but significant detail that I had left out of the story of my own car accident. I told of how, parked in the post office parking lot, I looked up and saw a white minivan FLYING directly at my windshield. I ducked and instinctively reached for the baby, who was in the rear carseat. I thought we were done for. For some unaccountable reason, it suddenly veered in mid-air, like a curve ball, and hit the left side of my car rather than the windshield. I think that was the protection of the rosary.

A quick google search has shown me that there is actually such thing as an automobile rosary, which you affix to your steering wheel so you can contemplate the mysteries as you drive. Hmmm, I don’t know about that; there are enough mysteries driving other cars to look out for. We are to “pray always”, but there is a certain kind of praying that allows one to be retain full attention on the road, and I do not think the rosary is that type of prayer. I did find this Blessing of an Automobile on www.catholic.org

Blessing of an Automobile

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who has made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.Lend a willing ear, Lord God, to our prayers, and bless this vehicle with Your holy right hand. Direct Your holy angels to accompany it, that they may free those who ride in it from all dangers, and always guard them. And just as by Your deacon Philip You gave faith and grace to the man of Ethiopia as he sat in his chariot reading the Sacred Word, so, point out to Your servants the way of salvation. Grant that, aided by Your grace, and with their hearts set on good works, they may, after all the joys and sorrows of this journey through life, merit to receive eternal joys, through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.(And it is sprinkled with holy water.)


Leticia said...

Thank God your husband is OK.
I always have a rosary in my car as well. If we pray in the car, I don't count the beads, one of the children does. I recommend CDs of the rosary when travelling solo.

Loren Christie said...

I'm so glad your husband is okay. That's an amazing story about your car accident. I agree, it was miraculous. Something similar happened to me several years ago on Sunrise Highway. A truck lost a tire and it bounced over my car. I happened to be listening to a sermon on family radio at that moment.

Loren Christie said...

I was just reading this one again...it's such a moving story.