I live in Southern California which means I deal with traffic all the time. To make matters even more fun, I work in Los Angeles, but live in Orange County, so I’m typically on the freeway at least two hours a day. Sometimes longer. It doesn’t matter if I take the 110, the 405, the 605, the 5 or the 105. I will face traffic. And yes, we say “the” before every highway, thank you very much!
Ways to Pray While Carpooling or Commuting
Therefore, I have had to get pretty creative with my daily commute in order to make the most of it and to incorporate some prayer time. So, if you have a long commute or even a short one, here are some fun ways to make your commute intentional.
SiriusXM Catholic Channel
My new car came with Sirius radio for free and now I’m hooked. I think if my commute were nonexistent, I would let it go. But when you have a long drive, it is nice to listen to something that challenges your mind as you pray for no traffic.
It’s also great to have radio hosts who talk about Catholic issues, theology, and content. Whether you turn on the Jen Fulweiler Show, Conversations with Cardinal Dolan, The Catholic Guy with Lino Rulli, or the Busted Halo Show, you will always hear interviews that make you think about the Catholic Faith in our world today. You’ll hear interviews with intelligent, funny, and authentic sisters and brothers who are living their Faith in the world today.
There are so many fabulous Catholic and Christian books to read, but when you don’t have time to sit down with a book in hand, Audible Books are a gift from St. Frances de Sales (patron Saint of authors).
Many of your favorite Catholic authors have recorded audio versions or their writings. Personally, I find theological audible books to be difficult to comprehend while facing Los Angeles traffic, but many inspirational books are fantastic in this format.
This also works for books like 33 Days to Morning Glory or Advent and Lent devotionals. Sometimes carving in the time to read these books can be difficult but audio versions are a new inspiration as you grow in relationship with Christ.
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Music, Music, and More Music
Singing praise and worship music is by far one of my favorite things to do in my car. However, when there is traffic, I don’t typically listen to worship music. Why, you ask? Because I tend to speed up when I love a song and raise one hands off the steering wheel in praise. When you are listening to a queen like Stephanie Grettzinger at full volume and singing along, raising your hands might not be safe. But it’s necessary.
It doesn’t have to be just praise and worship music. It can be classical music that inspires you to reflect on the Word you read in the morning. It could be chant (be careful with this style when your sleepy). It could even be Gospel music, or whatever allows you to shout praises to God on high. The point is, you will look strange and people will point. But God sees and hears your praise to Him and will bless you because of your praise.
Audible Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, or Stations of the Cross
Every day as I drive home from work, I turn on Spotify to A Rosary Companion and pray a Rosary for everyone I promised to pray for during my day. Typically, this means I’m praying for my students at USC, staff members, friends I called on my way to work, or family that I know is in need. There are days I sing along to the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
During Lent, every Friday I listened to the Stations of the Cross podcast which allowed me to reflect on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.
All these beautiful traditions keep me centered in prayer but still able to concentrate on the road.
I know what you’re thinking… If you want me to fall asleep at the wheel, silence during traffic is the fastest way to closed eyes. Yes, I agree. Sometimes this is not the best idea, but sometimes you need to turn the volume down and clear your mind and talk to God. I typically don’t do this before the coffee has kicked in, but after a long day where a lot might be weighing on your heart and head, silence is truly golden.
I could have a different podcast for every day of the week, and who’s to say I don’t?
Monday is typically Fr. Mike Schimdt’s homily for the students at UMD Catholic.
Tuesdays are my girls Heather Khym, Sr. Miriam, and Michelle Benzinger of Abiding Together (Yes, I have my coffee in hand, girls).
Wednesday I will either listen to Jenna Guizzar and Beth Davis with Blessed is She’s podcast The Gathering Place or to Teachable Tuesday (I put it face down and just listen to it while streaming it online. Don’t worry, I’m not watching and driving).
Thursday is my Friday, so I often listen to our BIS sister Katie Prejean McGrady and her husband Tommy on their podcast The Electric Waffle.
The list could go on and on. There are so many to listen to and if need something to erase the miles of your drive to work, pick up line, or soccer practice, give some Catholic podcasts a try.
Talk Out Loud to God
Now that there are speaker phones in almost every car, no one questions when someone is talking out loud in their car. No one needs to know that you’re talking to God out loud or if you’re on the phone with your bestie. The reality is you are talking to your bestie, Jesus Christ, so be loud, cry, shout, whisper, vent, or just share what’s on your heart. No one will think you are crazy and even if they do, who cares?! God is listening and it’s the best place for a one-on-one conversation with Him.
I Just Called to Say I Love You
Every morning I start my day reading the readings of the day in my prayer room and asking God who I need to reach out to or offer up at daily Mass. On most days, God places specific people on my heart to pray for and reach out to on my commute. If the person is the east coast or central time, they get a call from me on my way to work. If they are on pacific time, I will call on my way home. I check in with them, leave a message if they don’t answer, and just ask them how they are doing and how I can pray for them. Most of the time we will pray together on the call. It never ceases to amaze me how God knows exactly who to call.
Pray More Novenas
I just recently realized I can listen to Pray More Novenas online and I have become so much better at starting and completing a novena. It is simple, actually. I put the Audible link on my calendar, and it alerts me during my drive to work. I just click the link without even looking down and listen to the novena while I drive. Try it—it is a game changer.
How Do You Pray on Your Commute?
Consider one or more of these suggestions and if you have other things you have done, please share them with us. God wants to accompany you in your care, so get in the carpool lane because you have a legitimate companion on your next commute!Ways to Pray While Carpooling/Commuting #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Tricia Tembreull is a regular contributor to the BIS blog and a devotion writer. She is a California girl with a boundless passion for life. After two decades of ministering to teens and youth ministers as a trainer, ministry mentor, and speaker in Catholic youth ministry, Tricia now serves as Campus Minister at USC Caruso Catholic Center. She loves adventure and seeks it everywhere she goes. As an avid foodie, she enjoys testing new recipes out on friends and family, gathering them around the table to encounter Christ in one another and be drawn to the satisfying unity we crave in the Eucharist.