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Darillyn spreads the message of God's mercy through words and deeds. Mercy is her code of the road.
On the Road, in Her Spiritually Souped-up Ciera
Darillyn never "tires" of promoting prayer.
By Mrs. Darillyn Patterson, OP
Some people like to put a bumper sticker or a ribbon magnet on their car. That is rather commonplace these days. Nobody thinks much of it.
When people catch sight of my car, though, it's a different story. It has earned the title of "preachmobile," and rightly so. I might add that I am not the one who originally gave it that name. It was a Dominican priest by the name of Fr. Jacob who came up with it. He meant it as a joke, no doubt. I thought it was a very appropriate name, so I kept it.
On May 7, 2006, I made final profession in the Order of Preachers. That's the religious order founded by St. Dominic. We Dominicans are called to preach. There are various ways we can do that, of course. I have chosen a "preachmobile" as an effective, yet effortless, way to preach.
As I drive around each day in my spiritually souped-up Cutlass Ciera, many people see my car. Whether they are tailgating (I love it when they get up close to read the words on the back of the car), passing my car or being passed by me, they can't help but notice the messages. When traffic is stopped at the intersection, it gives them the chance for a better look and the chance to read it all.
I drive and park the preachmobile strategically. I will often pass people slowly to give them the opportunity to read the words. When I park the car, I select a spot where many can see it, even if I have to park some distance from my destination. I want them to be able to see my wheel covers. On each of them I spray painted the word PRAY with white paint, using a stencil for uniformity. Actually, they were on the previous car I owned. I gave them a fresh coat of paint and transferred them to this car.
It all began when I put messages of God's love in the back window, along with a standing crucifix in the center of it. It's so important for people to know that God loves them. Soon I expanded it to include messages of His Divine Mercy. That's really important, too. The plate on the front of my car is the Divine Mercy image, complete with the "Jesus, I trust in you!" inscription.
With my previous car, I only put the letters on the windows. With this car, I decided to experiment a bit by putting them on the body of the car. I wasn't sure if they would adhere sufficiently to that surface. It worked out well, though. All the letters are intact.
Naturally, people wonder what sort of reactions I receive from others when they see the preachmobile. Surprisingly, I get very few negative responses. Sometimes a person will drive very closely behind me and then back off some distance from my car after a short time. When that happens, I wonder if they've decided to drive more safely by putting a greater distance between us or, if they just don't want to read the messages!
I prayed for guidance as to which messages I should put on the preachmobile. Along with the white vinyl letters, there are also a few images. I placed static window clings that look similar to stained glass windows on all the side windows. There's one of The Last Supper in the lower left hand corner of the windshield, where I can easily see it as I drive. As I'm driving along, it's easy to imagine that my car is a little chapel on wheels. Framed images of the Holy Face of Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows are displayed on my dashboard, above the glove compartment.
The latest addition (I'm still not done with this preachmobile) is the Jesus Prayer on top of my trunk: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner." When people read that, they are inadvertently saying the prayer themselves!
On the front end of the car near the hood, I have put this message: "Pray for the dying to trust in God's mercy." I was led to do that after reading a short excerpt from St. Faustina's Diary. It wasn't until a few days later that I noticed the word "trust" in that sentence just happened to be aligned directly above the word "trust" on my Divine Mercy image license plate. That's not the only place where you will see the Divine Mercy image. It's on every side of the car and on the dashboard, too.
So far, I haven't seen any other preachmobiles on the road. After people learn about mine, perhaps that will change. I hope so, anyway. Some people might think I've gone overboard with this. All I can say in reply is that I'll do whatever it takes to win souls for God.
I mentioned at the beginning that we can preach in various ways. Another way I'm doing that is through music. I have written songs and recorded three of them on a CD. One of them is entitled "Unfathomable Divine Mercy." It is sung to the melody of "O Holy Night."
Here are the lyrics:
Unfathomable Divine Mercy
Now is the time to learn of God's great mercy
and of His infinite love for you.
If you believe He never could forgive you,
you need to know that this just isn't true.
He knows your heart and how much you've been hurting.
Turn to Him now. He's waited for so long.
Fall on your knees, and ask God for His mercy.
He'll grant it to you. Start right away. Do not delay.
The time has come for you to start your life anew.
Open your heart, and let God's love surround you.
The tears you weep will become tears of joy.
Learn to forgive yourself as well as others;
ask God to grant you the grace that you need.
The greatest sinner needs the greatest mercy.
Be merciful to those who have hurt you.
You must forgive if you want the Lord's forgiveness.
The joy of God's peace will carry you through all you do.
Go forth in love for God, and know His love for you.
Never despair and think God won't forgive you.
That wounds His heart more than all of your sins.
Place all your trust in His Divine Mercy,
proclaiming - Jesus, I trust in You!
There's no end to God's loving, tender mercy.
Whene'er you sin, go running back to Him.
Pray and repent. He's ready to forgive you.
Believe in His love.
He died for you; His love is true.
Forevermore rejoice, knowing that God always loves you.
Darillyn Patterson, OP, of Southwick, Mass., is one of several members of the Marians' 13th of the Month Club who lead the Rosary before the annual Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Would you like to be a Marian Helper? Learn all about the spiritual benefits of membership.