January 11, 2022
Plane Prayers
Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her… “Sober up from your wine!”
1 Samuel 1:13-14

As our plane taxied down the runway, the woman next to me began to recite the Hail Mary aloud. She was oblivious to those around her. Instead of finding comfort in the familiarity of her prayer, I was unnerved. Did she sense trouble? Were we going to crash? How silly of me to get all wound up, but I really wanted her to stop. She kept on until we reached cruising altitude.

Not unlike Eli, I wondered what was wrong with her. Then it hit me. The only problem was my rush to judgment. She was anxious about flying. So was I. When the plane’s captain announced we would land in twenty minutes, the Hail Marys started up again. This time I prayed one silently. The woman’s prayers no longer alarmed me. Perhaps they grounded her. After all, the gift of prayer grounds us all, no matter our altitude—or attitude.

- Gail Goleas

1 Samuel 1:9-20 • 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8 Mark 1:21-28


January 11, 2022 at 02:28 PM

Amen. Excellent reflection and so many wonderful comments. I also have my go to prayers and rituals when I travel whether by plane, car or foot. Prayers for all.

January 11, 2022 at 02:16 PM

"My only problem was my rush to judgement"! Now that is something I need to keep in check. So many messages from around us color our view of things so that we draw conclusions that aren't necessarily correct. I pray to be open to finding out what is real and not jump to conclusions. To listen to others with open eyes and heart.

January 11, 2022 at 12:07 PM

Thank you all for sharing your “plane prayers”. What a gift to know we are united in prayer!

January 11, 2022 at 11:41 AM

Having lived in Russia for 14 years there were many take offs, and landings that I would invoke a litany of Saints, prayers and of course God and Mary! I also carried the St. Christopher medal that belonged to my Dad, as well as a rather large inventory of other intercessory items that brought me comfort. I'm afraid of heights, but always requested the window seat on the left side of the plane. With my nose firmly pressed up to the window, I would count the Church steeples as we would come in for a landing, and as so many of you have said today, praying for the people on the ground. My very first trans-Atlantic flight to Moscow was 6 weeks after my last cancer surgery and I had never been overseas. Of course...I went to confession prior to my big adventure :) and told the Priest of my fears. Let's go back to the idea of "nothing is a coincidence" ~ our new young Priest at the time was a licensed pilot! He told me turbulence was nothing more than a neglected street in Houston with pot holes! That was in 1995, and I continue to gently chastise the celestial crew responsible for rough air repair when the "road" has been rough much longer than I'm really comfortable with! Plain Prayer got me to and from each side of the Big Pond every time. What a God Blessed adventure!

January 11, 2022 at 11:26 AM


January 11, 2022 at 11:04 AM

I pray too during take off and landing…though silently. It’s always the Act Of Contrition, just in case :) Prayers for all those that ask and for those that don’t. I pray especially for the homeless out in the frigid temps this week. Also, for the many killed in the apartment fire in Bronx and in Philly. God bless my LFF. Kathy

January 11, 2022 at 10:05 AM

A decade (or 2!) ago I few much more than now. I enjoyed window seats to view the subdivision and suburban life that I am not accustomed to as a country girl. I also learned to pray on the plane, not for me and safety, but for all the people below me. I could get through St. Faustina’s chaplet of Divine Mercy in the 20 minutes of take off and decent, under my breath, yet audible and noticeable to anyone paying attention. I’m sure I looked like Hannah did! (My grandma said she would pray in airports for the people she saw, but I always seemed to forget to do that.)

January 11, 2022 at 09:29 AM

I pray too during take off and landing, but silently. I pray the Lord's Prayer, Hail May & Glory Be. Research shows that those are the 2 most common times for a plane to crash, so I figure, I'm covered. Flying is not my favorite.

January 11, 2022 at 03:27 PM

I too pray the Our Father at take off and landing! In 1997 I flew threw a major thunderstorm and I've had a hard time flying since...with the last 3-4 years getting better. One of my sisters told me she also prays at same times and closes her eyes visually seeing God lifting the plane and carrying it to her destination and then setting it down gently. I now have the same visual and it helps with my anxiety (great reminder it's His will). Thanks for sharing everyone!

January 11, 2022 at 08:57 AM

Amen! I pray constantly when ever I fly. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies' frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must e done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend u in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts - by the power of God - Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

January 11, 2022 at 08:20 AM


January 11, 2022 at 07:45 AM

I loved in the reading today that Samuel confused God’s voice for Eli’s….three times. Sometimes I don’t hear God’s voice in others and believe my conversations or running into someone is a coincidence. It takes me a while to hear God’s voice in that. Certain folks live by the “There are no coincidences.” May we be open to hearing God’s voice in our day, whether on a plane or plainly living. Continued lifting of Fthr Ron and all those suffering/ healing from COVID. Praying for the healthcare community, those who are terminally ill (my friend Kasya), the elderly, the lonely and those who are depressed. God, take care of your children please.

January 11, 2022 at 06:45 AM

This echoes with me in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, "Receive the Word of God, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the Word of God." *** We are studying the parables in Matthew 13 in BSF these two weeks of the new year. One of the questions asked, "Give examples of how the evil one "snatches away" the message of GOd's Kingdom today? My answer, "You can't believe the Bible is true or God's Word, it was written by men; God is such a mean God in the Old Testament; He is a slave driver, a killer and a homophone; The Old Testament doesn't apply anymore...etc" *** Do you pick and choose what in the Scripture you believe and apply and what not to? *** 1 Timothy 3:16-17, "All (both OT and NT) Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work." Hebrews 4:12, "For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." Psalm 119:105, "Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." ******* Thy Word by AMy Grant https://youtu.be/a6LC8cu03Ig

January 11, 2022 at 06:18 AM

Amen. Your reflection gave me a laugh. We meet interesting people when traveling. God is Good :)

January 11, 2022 at 03:58 AM

That put a smile on my face. Starting many years ago I prayed silently on during take off and landing. I don’t fly as much these days but I still say silent prayers during the day. My plane prayers have become plain prayers.

Annette P
January 11, 2022 at 07:44 AM

Patrick, I too would pray when taking off and landing when I flew much more prior to covid. I would feel secure in clasping the crucifix around my neck that also held the Miraculous Mary metal. In the right pocket of my jeans I would also have a small crucifix that a Passionist priest gave me years ago. It was my "travel cross." When it became unstable and started to bend, I replaced it with a Good Shepherd cross that I received with a purchase from the Vatican. It inspires me, and also makes me smile when I read of others and their forms of prayer, not only in times of anxiety but in plain thankfulness through the day.

January 11, 2022 at 07:34 AM

i love this patrick. keep praying your plain prayers, they work!

January 11, 2022 at 06:24 AM

:-) I actually read/thought today’s title as, “Plain Prayer!” because of Hannah’s prayer.


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