Today’s foray into all things theological, I thought I’d review an application (app) I downloaded last week for my iPod Touch. “Divine Office” costs $9.99, and is well worth every penny. Now instead of fumbling through a print version of the Divine Office (a Catholic prayer tradition originating with the early monastics), it’s all there on your screen, and exceedingly portable.
The app can be set to automatically download the prayers for the day, five days worth at a time. Better still, with the touch of a button you can enable the audio feature, providing you with recordings of men and women praying segments of the Office with you. It is broken into Invitatory, Morning, Midday, Evening, and Night Prayer, though the audio support is provided for everything but Midday Prayer (text is provided for all of them). For nearly ten years I’ve prayed the Office, first in the print pocket edition (Magnificat), then with the clunkier “traditional” tome. It was a great comfort and blessing to have the Office, and I credit it with saving my life and sanity (well, most of it) during a particularly dark time of undergrad.
Having the audio option not only provides you with hymns beautifully sung and performed by true artists, but makes present the tangible comfort of the Church. There have been times, whether during travel or the still hours of late night or early morning, that one can feel profoundly alone. To hear a human voice praying with you can be a great balm to the wound of loneliness.
Other quirky features include a map that will show you the locations of others praying the Office at the same time (you must be on-line for this feature to work properly), and occasional supplemental reflections are provided. I highly recommend this app from Surgeworks.