Special Issue - Prayer

Turn off the radio and pray

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

LENEXA — A daily rosary seemed like a positive Lenten devotion to Linda Riley.

But with a busy schedule as  .a nurse at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, she wondered how she could fit the devotion into her day.

As “Providence” would have it, the drive to work was exactly 20 minutes.

“Which was just enough time to say a rosary,” said the Holy Trinity, Lenexa, parishioner.

The practice became a habit. And even though Riley no longer works at the medical center, she still prays whenever she’s traveling in her car.

“I’m a home health nurse now,” she said. “So I don’t have as much time [in the car].”

Riley heard about Mother Teresa of Calcutta saying Memorare novenas to ask the Blessed Mother for quick intervention.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” she said. “I thought I could do that between houses.”

And so Riley tweaked her prayer practice, based on Mother Teresa’s example. She often asks Mary to intercede for the people she’s visiting.

“I’ll pray for the patient, or pray for any sort of words of wisdom that maybe they need to hear,” she said.

If she passes a cemetery, she prays for the souls in purgatory. And on longer trips, she leaves the petitions up to Mary.

“I offer my prayer to whatever needs Mary feels are the greatest in the world for that particular day,” she said.

Riley believes praying while driving is the perfect antidote to road rage.

“When you’re praying the rosary,” she said, “it’s really hard to get mad at anyone who cuts you off.”

Praying is also the perfect remedy when feeling rushed while driving.

“Whenever you feel you can’t get someplace quick enough,” she said, “sometimes that’s God’s way of saying, ‘You know what, I’ll get you there. Just take it easy.’

“‘Turn off your radio and say a prayer.’”


About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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