Do you remember your first car? I sure do! The 2006 Chevy Silverado, 4-door truck in Dark Blue Metallic was the perfect car for the young, sparring Adam (Br. James) Nobles. On top of its designed beauty, the truck also had two glass-pack mufflers which acted like a pair of trumpets to announce the way before my arrival. More than giving up my cell phone, I mourned the material loss of my truck, my first car, when I entered the Order. I mourned the loss of freedom from having "my own car". Driving brings us a sense of freedom which few material things can. Yet, during this Lent, I have emphasized what takes away our freedom when we drive in Houston. Therefore, for my last article on the Spirituality of Driving in Houston, I would like to focus on the freedom we experience when we have a joy in driving.
Too often, you and I have lost our joy in driving. Instead of experiencing the freedom of driving, we feel a crushing amount of despair from those red lines on Google Maps or from the traffic report that we hear on the radio. Yet, I would love if you and I realized that as Christians no amount of traffic, construction, or bad drivers can take away our joy! Pope Saint John Paul II teaches us, "We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbor, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy. We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: 'Be it done unto me according to thy word'." So, let us invite the Holy Spirit to travel with us this Holy Week and push ourselves to drive with that unselfish Joy that comes from the Risen Lord! You might just feel the freedom from the spirituality of driving in Houston.
-br. James Martin Nobles, O.P.