October 17, 2019 — Technological innovations have touched nearly all aspects of life and the Catholic world is no exception. Several apps allow you to easily access daily readings, rich meditations or even do short retreats while travelling. The following are five (mostly free) examples.
The iBreviary app is one a very popular one. It features a digital breviary, missal, readings, prayers as well as texts for rites in several languages. According to Hugo Ducharme, in charge of logistics at Jesuit Refugee Service, "when you feel like putting in the hours, all the services are there, including daily mass. Also, it’s really easy to use. And it’s free, whereas printed breviaries are expensive.” Two other interesting options (in English only) are Divine Office, which provides an audio version of the texts and enables you to connect to a larger prayer community through Facebook and Twitter, and Universalis (which is fee-based).
Pray as You Go
Another popular app, Pray as You Go (also available in French), provides a daily guided audio meditation (in a podcast format) on one of the liturgical readings of the day. It concludes with questions for reflection and a time of personal prayer. The app also offers a guided Ignatian examen as well as prayer kits for particular circumstances or experiences.
Living With Christ
An enriched online version of the print edition of the same name, Living With Christ (also in French) puts God's word in your pocket. In addition to all daily mass readings, the app highlights the Saint of the day, a picture to meditate upon, an invitation to show solidarity, prayers for children, etc. One can also listen to the Gospel and Sunday hymns and see the Pope’s intentions for the year. A guided visit of the app is available for those who need it.
JesuitPrayer (in English only) is popular in the Jesuit Province of Canada. Camille Legaspi, graphic web designer for the Province and Frédéric Barriault, in charge of research and communications at the Centre Justice et Foi, explained why they like this app. Frédéric enjoys the moments of rest and inwardness that it provides, helpful even when using public transportation.
It also offers various online resources like a daily Gospel text with a biblical comment, and it follows the calendar of the liturgical year. You can also find Pope Francis’ video prayer intentions, a tab for “placing” personal intentions as well as the Ignatian examen of conscience, which goes without saying in a Jesuit prayer app!
The 3-Minute Retreat app, in English and Spanish only, allows you to connect daily with God thanks to Scripture passages, music and reflection questions. The duration of the retreat is defined by the user. If you have a little more time on your hands, try another app by the same developer called Reimagining the Examen. This app allows the user, step by step and according to his/her own pace, to experience different versions of this quintessential Ignatian tool.