I confess – I am a gadget geek. I have a few close friends who are Apple fanatics and a couple of years ago they bought me a Mac laptop and a year later an iPhone. I must admit that I have had to watch the amount of time I spend on “screens” as I never want it to replace face to face or verbal communication. I may be into technology, but I still believe that relational ministry will always be what helps us form a true communion with each other. One thing I am always looking to save is time. Here are 5 iPod/iPhone applications that I use all the time that you may want to check out.
1. iBreviary - This virtual breviary, or book of hours, gives the morning prayer, evening prayer and night prayer or complines for the day. It also has the daily Mass readings. I pray the Liturgy of the Hours utilizing this application. It is also a great quick read of the readings for Mass that I read before attending Daily Mass. Cost – $0.99 to download!
2. H2Onews – Distributes important news about the life of the Church in the world. In collaboration with the Vatican Television Center and Vatican Radio, you can see video and audio news of the Vatican. H2Onews is the application of video news dedicated to the catholic world, through which you can follow the travels and speeches of Benedict XVI, as well as the principal world ecclesiastic events. I love to see what the pope is up to and what he is saying! This application keeps me in the loop with the mothership and it is a free download!
3. The Catholic Directory - This application will help you quickly find the nearest churches, Mass Times, Web sites, Maps, Directions, Staff, Bulletins, and other important information. I travel so it is great to be able to know where and when I can catch a daily Mass while on the road. It even lets you use your current location and find it via GPS! This application is a free download!
4. Recordatio – Recordatio features all the Papal encyclicals of the last fifty years. This is a great reference and also has prayers and saints references. I am always looking for quotes to drive home a talk or blog on this application. Cost to download is $1.99.
5. Answers for Catholics - Use this application to quickly access a Biblical verse or subject when someone questions the reason you believe in a certain Catholic Doctrine, Discipline or World View. If you are not familiar with the subject or feel comfortable speaking to it – play the short video or even sit down and play the longer audio. Study the Bible Verses and get to know your faith from God’s Word when you are passing time or sitting on an airplane. If you are a Catholic youth leader and need a great apologetics application – this should serve you well. Cost to download is $1.99
Pope Benedict continues to encourage the use of media to evangelize. There are many more applications available. I tried to pick ones that most people could easily afford and that offered a wide variety of uses. Can utilizing these applications make you a better Catholic? Yes and No. The applications themselves only serve as a guide to connect to the Church. The ultimate goal is for us all to grow in our holiness. It is my prayer that you use whatever means you can to reach a greater level of holiness each day. If it is cool Catholic applications like these – then great. Remember the Eucharist is our source and summit and no technology will ever give us what we are truly hungry for – we hunger for Christ!