“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8
In her book Tweet If You Heart Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation, religion scholar (and Episcopalian) Elizabeth Drescher writes about how digital ways of relating to one another and expressing ourselves are changing religious observance.
My smartphone gives me continuous access to resources that can enrich my spiritual life — and tools that can both remind me to take time for it or distract me from doing so.
For instance, during Lent I can connect with a community of learners participating in an initiative of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston. Every day I receive an email with a brief video teaching by one of the society’s monks, as well as an invitation to discuss a reflection question via comments on the brothers’ webpage.
As a New Yorker, I find it helpful to have resources available on the go. Mostly I use them at home during my regular prayer time — but I’m grateful to have them when I’m in transit and need an encounter with the Divine.
Here are some of my favorite apps:
Pray As You Go
A 12- to 13-minute audio prayer session, produced by the London-based Jesuit Media Initiative. Bells, music, scripture readings, reflection questions and prayer prompts await your daily commute or mindful chore time. Also available as a podcast. Free. pray-as-you-go.org
The Bible at your fingertips in an elegantly readable, easily searchable format created by product designers at Facebook and Yahoo whose goal was “to get rid of everything between you and scripture.” Currently available only for Apple. $5. neubible.co
The Daily Office liturgy and readings from the Book of Common Prayer. Configure your liturgical preferences and move on to what matters: praying. Currently available only for Apple. $10. argyle-software.com. (Android users can default to Electronic Common Prayer, $10.)
— The Rev. Kyle Oliver
A version of this article originally ran on Building Faith.