A revised Motorist’s Prayer

I came across the Motorist’s Prayer while searching for the prayers to use with a Saint Christopher chaplet. A chaplet is small devotional set of beads for a specific intention, like a rosary, but often smaller. The prayers are unique for each chaplet.

The Motorist’s Prayer (original)

Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye
that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
You gave life, I pray no act of mine
may take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company
from the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world; that thus I may,
with joy and courtesy, go on my way.
Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.


But I don’t like it because it is in sing-song rhyme. The rhyme gets in the way of being able to really understand the words. Perhaps it makes it easier for some people to memorize when it is in rhyme, but for me then that means there is a chance that the words become vain repetitions – something Jesus warns us against.

I’ve rewritten it without the rhyme, keeping as many of the original words as possible.
The Motorist’s Prayer (revised)
Heavenly Father, grant that my hand is steady and my eye watchful so that I bring no harm to those I pass by today.
Help me to remember that that You are the giver of life, so that I do not take away or harm Your gift.
Take care of my passengers so that no harm comes to them.
Teach me to use my car to help others and to not miss the glory of Your creation because I am speeding.
Help me to travel through Your creation with joy and courtesy.
Lord, with Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.


Please note that I also changed the ending. It is important to know Who is the one you are praying to. Saint Christopher cannot do anything – only God can. God can work through people, but we must always remember that they are not the Source of healing – only God is.

Sestina – gate

Across the green expanse I see the sheep.
They have spent so many seasons here, young and old.
Their home is this valley,
their world is the sky, the grass, the dung.
They share their home with a lone pale horse
who only wants to go back east.

One day he’ll remember what East
he meant. There is no use in asking the sheep,
for this pale riderless horse.
He can’t even recall his home, he’s so old,
and all he remembers now is the dung
that covers the valley.

The animals spend most of their lives in this valley,
or at least all of it up to now, before they head east.
If they noticed how much dung
they had created they’d realize that sheep
don’t ever get this old
and their only companion is this horse.

Why is there only one horse
living in this valley,
growing old,
never making it back east?
He is starting to think he’s a sheep,
and he notices there is now less grass and more dung.

Every day there is more dung.
Every day the horse forgets more and more how to be a horse
and starts to become a sheep
mindlessly wandering this no-name valley
never making it back east.
Every day they just get old.

It is starting to feel like they have always been old
and their world has always been covered with dung.
Thinking this way, they will never get back east
and the horse
will die in this valley
along with these sheep.

They will get very old before they ever know the true nature of this horse.
Filled with dung, this valley
points towards the East but now there are only mindless sheep.

(I chose the sestina words from the names for various gates in Jerusalem.)