Many Christians and their families like to practice devotions while traveling: praying the rosary together, listening to a spiritual audiobook, even stopping to visit shrines or holy places along the way. These are commendable practices.
Every now and then, however, we ought to look out the window and see what our culture’s up to. If highway billboards are any indicator, it’s trouble: constant, falsely alluring invitations to join the culture of death.
So, fight back. In the Ignatian tradition, your response when the enemy makes a strike is to offer a quick counterstrike. A prompt prayer when faced with a culture of death billboard will not only protect you and your family, it will also, in God’s immense generosity, spill over superabundantly to help others.
Here are some common billboards my family encounters on our trips.
1. Adult entertainment
The culture of objectification is enacted daily at such places, and at all hours. Brave women who have managed to escape such places tell harrowing stories about what goes on. St. Maria Goretti is a great person to pray with here; ask her to help people not to be lured into unholy rituals of promiscuity.
2. Adult stores
Survivors of sexual addiction point to such places as gateways to further activities. Even in themselves, these places are havens of sexual license and degradation. St. Charles Lwanga and companions are excellent intercessors; ask them to help people stand against using others as sex objects.
One particularly cunning physician advertised, “Child support: $500 per month. Vasectomy: $500 once.” At least he was being forthright about robbing people in the name of so-called birth control. St. Gianna Beretta Molla can be called upon; ask her to help physicians choose life.
Pro-life billboards greatly outnumber pro-abortion ones in many parts of the country, but more of the latter are starting to show up. “Keep Abortion Legal” is a devious way of asking people to allow the murder of the innocent. St. John Paul II is a powerful intercessor, and as he once said, “Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defense and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person” (Evangelium Vitae, 4).
In all of these cases, too, a swift “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle” will be efficacious.