Speaking at Masses this weekend in Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin encouraged everyone to consider a late New Year resolution to take extra care on our roads.
When I was growing up my mother always sprinkled Holy water on us as we left the house. It was a reminder of our baptism and also a prayer for God’s protection on me and my brothers and sisters. My mother would often say: ‘Mind yourselves on the roads’. On this feast of the Baptism of The Lord I invite people to restore this tradition in the homes of Ireland and I offer this prayer to say when getting into the car: ‘Keep me safe on the road this year, Lord. Help me not to speed or do anything to put my life or others’ lives in danger’.
Tragically 246 people were killed on the roads of Ireland, North and South during 2013. Already, in the first ten days of 2014, five people have been killed on the roads of Northern Ireland and the PSNI say this is more than the total for the whole of January last year.
We all have a responsibility to exercise care and attention on the roads. The gruesome television advertisements remind us that speed, lack of concentration, use of alcohol or drugs can seriously increase the chances of killing or injuring someone else or ourselves when driving. If all of us made a late New Year’s resolution to improve our use of the roads, whether that be as drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, then some families will be spared the terrible anguish of losing a loved one this year.
Archbishop Eamon Martin is Coadjudator Archbishop of Armagh and was preaching in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Armagh
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