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Three Apps for Technological Renewal

Most Americans are overfed and undernourished by the things and thoughts with which we fill our homes and heads. I talk often about decluttering and how an overabundance of physical items creates a subconscious mental to-do list that becomes the real source of overwhelm. Along this vein, I, consummate Twitter addict, was wondering this week whether the overabundance of information at my fingertips might be having a similar effect on my ability to focus, form cogent thoughts, and in general, be at peace. To ask is to answer.

Now, I don’t necessarily think this means we need to go full Luddite, trashing our phones and technology entirely (although intentional periods of abstinence are both sanctifying and mentally refreshing). Day to day, as Aristotle and Aquinas inform us, virtue lies in the middle…in simply being a good steward of your time, your mind, and your property. Basically, doing the right things, for the right reason, in the right moment, appropriate to your station in life. Nothing too extreme in any direction. For that reason, I’m happy to endorse a few different meditation and prayer apps, designed to help you design and keep a manageable prayer schedule, among other things.

Hallow App, endorsed by Father Mike Schmitz (of the Bible in a Year podcast) as well as Matt Fradd (of Pints with Aquinas), is a prayer, meditation, and journaling app, and totally customizable for individuals and families. It helps users to develop not just a schedule for prayer and meditation, but offers the techniques that help you stick to it: it’s about building the habit.

Amen is similar, but free, and less personalizable: a more basic model that simply brings you beautiful prayers, faithful meditations and nourishing daily Scripture to draw your mind, body and soul to rest in God.

Abide is a creative Biblical meditation app created by former Google employees who wanted to use their gifts to bring people closer to God instead of yoking them to yet another addictive app–designed specifically for relaxation and as a sleep aid. Picture a wise old man with a deep voice narrating scripture while you swing in a hammock by the lake. That’s what their meditations sound like.