Sunday, August 14, 2005

Count Your Blessings

A short while ago, Fr. ______ blessed the family-car. It is a Cadillac, DeVille, '89. This Cadillac is one of exceptional beauty, the interior consisting of plush leather seats, and the exterior of beautiful lines and bodywork - remember the princess with the problem with the peas? The car handles as delicately as she, but infinitely surpasses the beauty of the princess. Catch a princess with hubcaps like those? No sir!

So it was to my dismay, disbelief, and amusement that, after the blessing, the car broke down once: the alternator gave out.

Twice: the engine coolant began leaking, creating a lazy green pool of emerald hue on the gas-station asphalt. It was pretty to look at, but gazing at the flow left me with a surprisingly flat feeling.

Three times the charm: when driving along the accelerator suddenly ceased working, the steering locked up, and I ----- did not scream in panic. With thought of lighting speed, I calmly wrenched the steering wheel to the right (and I'm not quite sure "with herculean strength" couldn't be applied there) and stopped at shoulder, being fortuitously in the far-right lane to begin with. Then I stared at people who stared at me, and grinned at the the ones who looked conscience-stricken that they weren't stopping to offer assistance to a little girl. I felt quite queenly, but restrained the impulse to wave loftily.

But, to return to the point, the blessing is either defective or things would simply have been crazy beyond all belief without it. Or, perhaps, God is telling our family to go bio-diesel. In any case, I will now begin praying to St. Frances, patron saint of drivers - her guardian angel having illuminated her paths and ensured her safety in travels. I'm not quite clear as to whether the bubble of safety extends to the car from the driver, but I'm sure that any saint would be delighted to help a wandering soul. Goodness knows that few people go to them anymore.

"We do not pray to change divine decree, but only to obtain what God has decided will be obtained through prayer. In other words, as St. Gregory says, 'by asking, men deserve to receive what the all-powerful God has decreed from all eternity to give them.'"
St. Thomas Aquinas

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