3 ways your smartphone helps you grow in faith


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You and your smartphone are tied at the hip. Emails, phone calls and Google Calendar reminders direct your day’s activities. What if that same smartphone could help you develop spiritual discipline?

I love technology and I use it to keep me aware of God throughout the day. Using my iPhone to remind me hourly to pray has probably been the most helpful in creating this mindfulness.

The first way

google calendarI set my Google Calendar to send me an e-mail each hour during the day (between 9am and 3pm) to remind me to offer short prayers for something in particular. I made the prayers a mixture of petitions, praise and thanksgiving, a quick examination of conscience, prayers for the sick and souls in purgatory, and formal prayers such as The Angelus at noon and a shortened version of the Divine Mercy at three in the afternoon. I chose a bell sound on my phone to notify me, not unlike what monks would hear at the abbey.

Since I am on email all day at work and always have my phone with me, I never miss the reminders. It can be hard to stop what I am doing to pray, even for just a few seconds, but the result is a constant reminder of God’s presence. I liken it to a primitive form of the Divine Office that priests and religious pray at certain times of the day—the idea is to be in a constant state of prayer. The habit of praying acts as a catalyst that snaps my mind to attention, placing me instantaneously in God’s presence. This discipline has taught me that mindfulness of God is, in fact, praying without ceasing.

The second way

imissal appSmartphones also allow constant access to music, the scriptures and even daily mass!

I listen to the daily readings from the lectionary with iMissal.

YouTube has playlists of just about all the songs from the St. Louis Jesuits’ catalog and I sing along with those songs while driving.

At night, I use the CatholicTV app to listen to daily mass as I fall asleep. CatholicTV has much of its programming available online, from recitations of the rosary to inspiring and educational talk.

CatholicTV daily mass

The third way

The Discerning Hearts app has a wonderful Examen video that I use to examine my conscience each night. About eight minutes in length, the video leads you through the different parts of the Examen while providing soothing music and peaceful views of candles, landscapes and the ocean.

examen discerning hearts

As you love technology too, you must have ways that you use it to help you grow in faith. Let’s share: how do you use phone, computer or tablet to help you build your spiritual disciplines?

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Copyright 2015 Susan W. Bailey

All photos taken by Susan Bailey.

river of grace susan baileyPortions of this article were taken from my upcoming book, River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, coming out October 30 from Ave Maria Press. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.


About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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