6 Apps to Help You Have a Prayerful Lent

(photo: Photo credit: Beth Crow, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

With Lent rushing upon us, I’ve been particularly interested in apps that will help me make this a fruitful, prayerful and holy Lent.

One problem: If you haven’t noticed, there’s a plethora of apps out there than can — and would — help me along through Lent.

I decided to ask some experts about the Lent apps they recommend.

Here are the results.

Son Rise Morning Show host Matt Swaim wrote this to me:

“My first and foremost is the CRS Rice Bowl App: Not only does it have daily reflections (a staple of most Lenten apps), my favorite feature is the recipes. Each Friday, the app has instructions for a simple meatless meal from one of the countries benefitting from Rice Bowl. Families can make the meal, learn about the work of CRS in that country and learn about a family that’s part of one of the CRS programs. Simple, free and super engaging for kids.

“Next: The Lentsanity app from the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. My favorite feature: The ‘Meat Police’ push notifications around mealtimes each Friday. It’s great for people like me who can forget what day it is and need a little extra reminder not to stop at White Castle on the way home.”

Meat Police. I love it. I also love CRS’ “Give” feature that allows you to keep track of your Lenten strivings and almsgiving. I do those things, but I rarely keep track of them, and so sometimes I lag in my efforts.

Author, blogger, speaker and new media guru Brandon Vogt suggested looking into Verbum:

“My favorite is the Verbum app. It brings tons of the best Catholic books, including the Bible, Catechism and Church documents, onto your phone or tablet.”

Spiritual reading — or any reading outside of the headlines, for that matter — has been my greatest downfall of late. Now I can have an entire library of awesome Catholic resources. I especially like the “Pictoral Lives of the Saints,” which not only tells about the saint, but offers a reflection for each day.

Lisa Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com is one of the most tech-savvy people I know. Plus, she’s a busy mom like me. Here’s what she suggested:

“I recommend The Pope App by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (http://www.news.va/thepopeapp/). Part of my daily Morning Prayer routine involves praying the Liturgy of the Word and, in particular, the day’s Gospel. Along with using our reflections at CatholicMom.com (http://catholicmom.com/category/daily/), I often turn to The Pope App for teachings and homilies from Pope Francis. The app contains texts of his homilies on most days. I find also prayerfully reflecting upon Pope Francis’ tweets (which are included in the app) to be great fuel for prayer and a deep call to mission. Another special feature of the app is the ‘webcams’ section, where six live feeds from in and around the Vatican can help me pray in solidarity with others around the world. While The Pope App is primarily a news-related tool, I find it a great centralized resource for spiritual support from our Holy Father, which will be a true blessing during the Lenten season.”

The CatholicMom.com reflections are absolutely fantastic for everyone, not just moms. I also really like the webcam feature. Having been to the Vatican twice in my life, I find myself missing it, so to speak, from time to time — and particularly during the liturgical seasons.

Internationally known speaker and Catholic evangelist Marcel LeJeune gave me this advice:

iBreviary is one of my favorites, because I lost the ability to flip around my real-life breviary and need it to keep me on track with the Liturgy of the Hours.

“I also like Victory app by LifeTeen. It is another good tool I recommend to those who struggle with purity.”

iBreviary isn’t only a virtual Liturgy of the Hours; it has the daily readings, order of the Mass, various rites of the Catholic Church and a host of prayers for just about every mood or occasion you can imagine. This is just the ticket for those of us who can become bored or distracted during Lent and need to change up our prayer routines and content to keep it fresh.

Not only does Victory help keep you on the road to purity, it also offers the opportunity to connect with prayer partners, mark the dates you’ve been to confession and store journal entries.

That’s six new apps that will help make this Lent an occasion of real conversion, and I’m grateful to those who so kindly offered me their advice.

Now I’m truly “app happy.”