US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Pray today

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It's the National Day of Prayer, but there's no need to get out the books to participate. Instead, reach for your iPhone.

There are iPhone applications that allow Catholics to access the missal and breviary, Catholic calendars, rosaries, and other prayer materials from their phones, all available at iTunes. See them in this video by U.S. Catholic contributor J.D. Long-Garcia--funny and informative.

It’s not much different from the old days, says Father Paolo Padrini from Italy, the developer of the ibreviary, which is reportedly the first app to win Vatican approval. "Once we walked with the Breviary and the Rosary in our hands," he told a blogger at Boing Boing Gadgets. "Today, why can’t we do it with the iPhone?"

Even in public, the iPhone offers an inconspicuous, yet hip way to pray as Jesus instructs us to, in secret (Matt. 6:5-6). I could imagine using these apps riding the El on the way to work...if I had an iPhone.

Private prayer is the way to go for this year's National Day of Prayer, it seems, with President Obama forgoing the usual White House celebrations but still supporting the idea. Manya Brachear at The Seeker has a good summary of everyone he's annoying (on both sides) with that decision.

Pray on your own today, offer up your own prayers here or share them with us on Twitter.