Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prayers on the Way

At six o'clock Friday morning the postulants will be off to Wisconsin.

The first destination on the way, after finding a Catholic parish where we can celebrate Eucharist, will be outside Cleveland, where we will meet up with a young Capuchin candidate who is studying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Depending on traffic and time off-road for rest and meal breaks, we hope to arrive in Detroit and St. Bonaventure Monastery after nightfall. We will remain in Detroit until Sunday after Mass, and then we will continue to Milwaukee, and from there to Mt. Calvary, Wis., where we will stay for most of next week.

Ordinarily I would take an evening such as this to fashion another anecdote out of the odds and ends of the day. Just today I learned something new, subtle, and significant about praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I have yet to sufficiently describe to you the Capuchin sense of humor and its importance in our fraternal culture. And there are several colorful Capuchin customs I have been meaning to share with you, such as our nightly reading of the necrology.

But these will wait for another time. I'd like to be fully rested for the journey that begins tomorrow. Therefore we will call it an early night tonight.


I leave you with a few traditional prayers for travelers:

(via Catholic Online)

O Almighty and merciful God, who hast commissioned Thy angels to guide and protect us, command them to be our assiduous companions from our setting out until our return; to clothe us with their invisible protection; to keep from us all danger of collision, of fire, of explosion, of fall and bruises, and finally, having preserved us from all evil, and especially from sin, to guide us to our heavenly home. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

My holy Angel Guardian, ask the Lord to bless the journey which I undertake, that it may profit the health of my soul and body; that I may reach its end, and that, returning safe and sound, I may find my family in good health. Do thou guard, guide and preserve us. Amen.

Catholics have a blessing for everything. Here is a blessing for automobiles:

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.

Here is a contemporary Catholic blessing from a blogger in San Jose:

Loving and gracious God, you always show mercy to those who love you,
and you are never far away from those who seek you.
Remain with your servants as they travel far from home,
and guide their way by the light of your Word.
Shelter them with your protection by day, give them the light of your grace by night,
and as their companion on their journey, bring them to their destination in safety.
May they see your face in everyone they meet,
and know the depth of your love on every road they walk.
At the end of their journey, may they return to us once again
with renewed faith and hearts full of joy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Finally, prayers for a safe journey from the Jewish, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim traditions:

(via Beliefnet)

Jewish: May it be Your will, Lord my God, to lead me on the way of peace and guide and direct my steps in peace, so that You will bring me happily to my destination, safe and sound. Save me from danger on the way. Give me good grace, kindness and favor in both Your eyes and in the eyes of all whom I may meet. Hear this my prayer, for you are a God who hears to the heart's supplication and communion. Blessed are You, Lord our God, who hears prayer.

Orthodox Christian: Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, by sea, and by air; of the old and young, the sick, the suffering, the sorrowing, the afflicted, the captives, the needy and the poor; and upon them all send forth Thy mercies, for Thou art the Giver of all good things.

Muslim: In the name of Allah! I have placed faith in Allah and I have put full trust in Allah. It is as Allah wills! There is no strength and no power save with Allah. O Allah! Protect me and protect what is with me, and deliver me to my destination. By Allah I commence my journey; by Allah I seek to accomplish the purpose of my journey; and by Muhammad (s.a.w.) I have set out. O Allah, make me overcome all; and make easy for me all difficulties; and give me more of goodness than I hope for; and keep away all evil of which I am apprehensive for my health, O the most Merciful.

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