Traveling with JesusMarch 8th, 2012
My upcoming work trip to LA got me thinking—how can we keep Christ with us (in our hearts and minds) while traveling? Even though I will be heading to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress March 22-25 (where I will be absorbed in all things Catholic with easy access to Mass), travel still adds hurdles to familiar routines. Annoying time changes, uncharted terrain, and uncertain schedules can disrupt prayer life and make usual devotions a challenge.
Over time I’ve learned that there are ways to make the adaptation process easier and even to make the best of unpleasant situations. Being stuck in a plane or car for an extended period of time is a great opportunity to pray the rosary or listen to some Catholic podcasts or audiobooks. (I get carsick, so spiritual reading is out for me!) Personally, I love listening to the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song—it keeps my prayer focused and on track. And while on a plane, prayer really helps calm my nerves, as I’m not the most relaxed flyer!
I’ve found that a hotel room immediately feels more like home with the addition of a rosary laid out, a little bottle of holy water, and some strategically placed prayer cards. (I’m all about visual reminders of the faith.) A friend of mine who spent some time at a convent shared an interesting practice with me she learned while there—making a cross on the wall with holy water when entering a room. Not a bad idea to consecrate a strange, new room!
When looking for a Catholic church, I’ve found the website “masstimes.org” to be immensely helpful, as well as “The Catholic Directory” free iPhone app—both of which quickly locate Catholic churches nearest to you or to a specific location. (As an aside, don’t you just love the universality of the Catholic Church?!)
And last but not least, my typical trip (work or pleasure) starts out with me asking my friend to borrow his St. Christopher medal, which has accompanied people on their travels all over the world. It’s comforting for me to know that I have the patron saint of travel “journeying” with me.
What about you? How do YOU stay connected to Christ while on-the-go?