Rosary guide

E-Rosary an option for the new generation

If there is a hackneyed excuse for neglecting our duty to pray the Rosary, it would be restlessness.

We often say that due to the daily hustle and bustle, we come home tired and all we want is to rest and sleep. Praying is often the only thing we forget or put aside for tomorrow as something that can wait – God is always there anyway.

During the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October, the Vatican unveiled “Click to Pray the Electronic Rosary” technology. It’s a portable, app-driven device that teaches and reminds us how and when to pray the Rosary and other prayers, through audio guides, images, and personalized content. The app includes prayers to aid reflection and guide prayer and concentration.

This is an attempt to make the rosary accessible to people on the go and to the new generation to learn about traditional prayers with a medium who knows them.

So I downloaded the app. (I don’t have the rosary bracelet device though which is synced with the app). This app is like your spiritual Fitbit. Instead of telling you to get up and walk, he tells you to stop what you are doing and pray. Thanks to this accessory, it allows you to stay connected to your phone in order to stay informed of the number of rosaries you have prayed and the duration of your prayer.

The app and the accessory are basically a very good idea. Just like the apps we use every day, we get notified and kept up to date for something important. It inspires us to take time out of our busy day to devote time to prayer and reflection. Because there are prayers in the app, we no longer have an excuse not to know what to pray for. Everything is already at your fingertips. We could find out if there is a specific intention for the Church on that day and focus our hearts and minds on it and pray.

The app also helps you learn to pray. The connected rosary is activated by the sign of the cross, which signals the start of the accompanying rosary prayers. Clicking on an article gives you a quick snapshot of what’s happening in a community or the Church as a whole. It is followed by a prayer that the Pope calls us to pray, a prayer offering and then a proposal for a mission that we could all do within our small communities.

But again, this is new technology; it could still be distracting. This is definitely an upgrade from our grandma’s wooden rosary bracelet that’s dangled on our wrist for as long as we can remember. And the app is definitely an upgrade from the prayer cards we buy from the store in the church basement.

However, because it makes prayer easier, I fear that people will lose the essence of prayer; that is, to distance yourself from the world, to remain at peace and quiet. Being on the phone, even in prayer, does not give us the chance to fully and properly retreat or just retreat.

Would I get the device? Maybe I won’t, but I’ll keep the app. The prayers on the app are enough to guide you with your prayers throughout the day. The app shows you a message from Pope Francis, a prayer intention for the day, and a guide on how you can live your life accordingly. But I will stick to the traditional, albeit worn, rosary that has been passed down for generations.

(Ducepec, 21, is a BSc student at the University of Toronto studying anthropology).