Next time you walk into to a church, a chapel or a shrine, and get a glimpse of someone staring at the screen of a smartphone instead of, let’s say, that beautiful Madonna on the wall, do not jump to conclusions (you Pharisee!). Chances are that soul is not scrolling through Facebook, or endlessly playing with Snapchat filters, but praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, or reading the Scriptures. Nowadays, there is a whole universe of apps that, far from distracting devout souls, rather accompany them in their moments of prayer and meditation. Jonathan Texeira has published a list of five free Catholic apps that can actually help you deepen and share your faith. Of those five, we have selected three that are already our favorites (and which we use almost on a daily basis!).
- iBreviary: Simple as it sounds, this app is an electronic breviary, and it was one of the first Catholic applications available on the web with which you can pray the Liturgy of the Hours. iBreviary relieves the (literal) weight of carrying your breviary you (if you happen to have one) in your bag, and will also provide you with the readings of the day, the Rituale Romanum and an impressive selection of prayers and devotions.
- The “Pope App”: You probably already follow the pope on Twitter (if you do not, the official main account is @pontifex), but you may not know the pope also has his own application. PopeApp is a service that delivers all news related to the pope, directly from www.news.va(which is managed by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications) straight into your phone.
- Mea Culpa: In a nutshell, this is an application that will help you make a good confession, guiding you through an examination of conscience, commandment by commandment, and allowing you to group your sins as venial or mortal. Plus (and here’s where Mercy jumps in) the app lets you delete your sins once you have confessed and received absolution, while still keeping the date of your most recent confession (so you don’t take six months before going back to the confessional). You can also set an alarm for a daily examination of conscience (which is extremely useful!). So far, this application is only available for iOS operating systems.