Following Pope Francis’ advice, I drove my “humble car” to Mass, yesterday.

minivan

Driving a “humble” car has its’ drawbacks

by Doug Lawrence

It’s a 1997 mini van with slightly more than 200,000 miles on the speedo and it stalled about eight blocks from church, right in the middle of the street. I checked all the usual stuff under the hood, to no avail. Now I was not only one big “sweat ball” – but also a “grease monkey” – and I would probably be late for Mass – if I got there, at all.

Looking up, I could barely make out the distant steeple of the church. Invoking the Holy Name of Jesus, I began to coast downhill – backwards – attempting to find a good place to pull over.

Things in the mirror are indeed closer than they appear.  I missed the first turn by “t-h-a-t   m-u-c-h”!

Now I was stuck against the curb and the entire street was blocked. A “Good Samaritan” helped me push it out and straighten things up. (It’s nice to be able to occasionally live the Gospel!)

Coasting downhill and backwards for another block or so, I managed to successfully turn on to a cross-street. Then I coasted downhill – going forward this time – until I could safely pull over and park.

I gave all the things under the hood another once-over;  lightly rapping on the battery terminals with the end of a flashlight,  jiggling all the fuses, wires and relays, making sure I had gas. Then I tried once again to start. No joy!

Already late for Mass – I was sure Jesus would understand, since I was just following Pope Francis’ suggestion – and I was indeed feeling “humbler” by the minute!

Then there was the small matter of the pulled ligament in my foot – which was already hurting from pushing the car. A brisk (now ten block) walk would be fun, and I could “offer it up” for the poor souls in Purgatory. Even “humbler” still!

Firing up my cell phone (a cheap, “humble” non-smart phone) I called my son, asking him to drive over after Mass – bringing along a spare battery, a good flashlight and all appropriate tools – including my most “humble” sledge hammer.

I walked in just as the Gospel was being proclaimed. A quick stop at the bathroom got rid of most of the grease, but I was still a big “sweat ball” and there was nothing much I could do about that. Sorry, Jesus!

I stood in the back until I cooled off and dried out a bit. Only then did I take a seat. Now I know why they call them “pews”.

I’m proud to say that, thanks to Pope Francis, I feel I’m getting really good at being “humble”.  I’m just not yet sure how this makes evangelizing any easier, or more effective.

Maybe we can compare notes some time.

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3 Comments

  1. It strikes me that your car travails—and your hard work to deal with them—are a modern analog of pulling your ass out of a ditch on the Sabbath.

  2. Doug,
    Your “Humble Car” story, was sensational! Reminds me of my dear husband, the lengths, he would take, to attend his Regular Mass time! Heaven forbid, he went to a Later Mass!!!
    Your comparison, to the Pope’s advice, for Humbleness, using your “Psuedo- Junker” was phenomenal!
    Sell your story, and buy a New Vehicle….but not Fancy. 🙂


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