Traveling While Catholic

Just a quick little post today as I am still recovering from my brother-in-law's wedding.  It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter and much needed time with family.  The wedding was in Florida, which was actually cooler than our new home. Who knew?

God has a way of shocking me out of my distraction.  On two out of four legs of my journey, I was seated next to fellow Catholics.  Normally, I do not visit with the person next to me.  I tend to use my air time as catch up on reading time and was looking forward to diving into my new book. So you may be wondering how I learned this tidbit about my seat mates.

As we were preparing to taxi down the runway on the first leg of our journey, I noticed the woman next to me making the sign of the cross. I rarely see this telltale sign out in public, but the stress of flying tends to break down our defenses and the lovely lady next to me was not too embarrassed to pray in public. 

Then the internal wrestling began... do I say something or not? I decided to ask her whether she was Catholic and we ended up having a nice conversation about the Magnificat which I had open on my lap. She had never seen my favorite devotional and I was excited (maybe a little too excited) to share what a difference it makes for me. 

On the return flight, I sat next to a gentleman. As we were beginning to take off, he made the sign of the cross. I asked if prayed before he travelled-- he said, "Always."  I then asked if he said a 'Hail Mary'. He told me Ten and an 'Our Father'. A whole decade.  He then shared that he had done this for as long as he could remember and that it brought him great peace. 

You just never know who you will meet making the Sign of the Cross in public. So often I do the quick little sign where I hunch over and kind of hide what I am doing.  I am not sure why.

No longer, the next time I pray in public- I am going to cross myself with intention. Making sure to remember that I am beginning my conversation with not only the Father, but the Son and the Holy Spirit as well. The physical movement tied with the words can become rote-- but pausing a second to remember what I am doing should help. 

What about you.. do you make the sign of the cross in public or is it movement you reserve for church?