If you haven’t joined the social media exodus for Lent, that’s OK. As Bishop Kieran Conry of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton in Southern England said in a pastoral letter, it’s OK to be “appy” in your faith life.
Bishop Conry recommended using apps to become more comfortable with the sacrament of reconciliation, naming two in particular: “Confession” and “Mea Culpa.” The same holds true with other aspects of our spiritual lives, like prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent.
Here are 10 apps and a few ideas on how to use them to strengthen your Lenten journey.
- Laudate. This is a given. Known as the No. 1 Catholic app, it offers a wide variety of resources, from the daily readings to Vatican documents. Great resources for Lent include the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours (although it has a different translation, and the days mix up on iPhones at times) and a daily examination of conscience. (iOS, Android)
- Truth & Life. This app is a dramatized audio rendition of the New Testament. For Lent, you can download the free version and study the book of Mark (the full version is $19.99). It still has study questions and other resources. (iOS, Android)
- Rosary of the Hours. You can try a new way of praying the Rosary this Lent. It’s designed for using one decade for each hour of the day (from the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries), but you can simply use the Sorrowful. The app has Psalms, meditations and Scripture passages for each mystery. You could then transition to the full Rosary after Easter. It’s a great way to start a new spiritual habit. (iOS)
- Confession. Suggested by Bishop Conry, this app develops an examination of conscience based on age, sex and vocation and then walks you through the sacrament. With this tool, you can commit to more frequent confession throughout Lent. (iOS, Android)
- Mary. Made by the creators of the popular Divine Mercy app, “Mary” is a great way to get to know the Blessed Mother. Journeying with her thought Lent is a beautiful way to approach her Son. The app includes information about dogma, doctrine, titles, apparitions and more, as well as prayers and devotions. (iOS)
- Ignio. This is a more social option for spirituality. The app tracks your spiritual activities, and you can share your prayers and thoughts with your friends. I recommend identifying a group of friends to try this with, since you have to get started by “bumping” your device with someone else’s to have full access to features. This could be a great way to start a Lenten group. (iOS, Android)
- Mass Explained. While this is only available on the iPad, it looks like an incredible experience made for that platform. Lent is a great time to learn more about the Mass and fall deeper in love with Christ. (iPad)
- The Pope App. News, speeches, images, live feeds … you can follow Pope Francis every day. A good place to start could be to read (or watch) his general audiences or Sunday Angelus addresses throughout Lent. (iOS, Android)
- CRS Rice Bowl. This app from Catholic Relief Services is a great way to tap into almsgiving during Lent. You can set specific goals and track your progress. It also offers reflections, meatless recipes and personal stories. (iOS, Android)
- UNICEF Tap Project. You may have heard of this one. It’s not Catholic, but it is a great way to give. By leaving your phone alone for 10 minutes, their sponsor will provide one day of clean water for a child in need. It is a great way to practice detachment without sacrificing the ability to evangelize throughout this great season. (visit website)
One final tip? Keep it manageable. Try picking one or two apps with a specific purpose in mind. Have an “appy” Lent!
Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.