We often say, “Be safe,” when someone tells us they are making a road trip. However, maybe it would be more appropriate for us to say, “Be Godly.” One of the great riches of being Catholic is that the Church actually thinks about all of the challenges we face as Christians—and then seeks to guide and assist us.
The secular press was amused when The Vatican published “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road.” Yet, one of our most frequent challenges is to be Christian in traffic.
On New Years Eve, the clearest way to express our Christianity in traffic is to ensure we are safe, and to ensure others are safe—even if that means saying, “You aren’t driving tonight.” One hopes, of course, that our formation as Catholic Christians means drunkenness is not a concern for us, and that we serve our friends wisely (or our customers, if we are in the hospitality business).
So, in the interests of encouraging all readers of Christianity Richly to celebrate responsibly tonight, here are the “10 Commandments of Safe Driving”:
- Thou shalt not kill.
- The road shall be for you a means of communion between people. (This one always convicts me of sin, because I so often think of only my priorities in traffic; “me first, me first.”)
- Courtesy, uprightness, and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
- Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
- Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination and an occasion of sin.
- Charitably convince people not to drive when they are not in condition to do so. (This post is being added to the site on New Years Eve. Take heed!)
- Support the families of accident victims.
- Bring guilty motorists and their victims together in an atmosphere of forgiveness.
- On the road, protect the more vulnerable party. (As a bicyclist, I’d certainly appreciate more attention to this commandment.)
- Feel responsible toward others.