Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ascension, Ipod, Soundtracks and Prayer

I'm writing another article for Catholic Digest, this time about how the internet and all related gadgets can help our prayer life (e.g. online breviaries) or hinder it (we spend so much time on the internet surfing good catholic websites that we don't have time to pray).

I'd love your comments on this. How has living on the "digital continent" helped you? Or does it keep you from prayer at times? If the latter, what is the solution? A digital fast?(how often and  for how long?) Do online prayer aids help give you quality prayer time, or does making prayer one more chunk of time spent  screen-staring leave you feeling something isn't quite right with it?

Your thoughts please!  I assume permission to publish them, by the way. I'll use just your first name, or make up a pseudonym for anyone with  usernames that don't sound like ordinary names.

As we wind down the feast of the Ascension of the Lord,( or head toward  it depending on what diocese you live in)  I'll share my digital prayer experience this evening. I am now using my new ipod touch, rather than the Kindle, for the Liturgy of the Hours. I realized today  that my music playlist will keep going while I use other apps, so...tonight I said Evening Prayer II for  Ascension Thursday with the theme music for the 1961 biblical epic King of Kings as a background. This particular piece of music always moves me. It helps me to "see" Jesus better than almost any other piece of music, with the possible exception of Handel's Messiah. This is a slightly embarrassing admission, because I was trained in classical music, and therefore should have the good  taste to get my religious/emotional highs from the works of Bach, Palestrina, Gregorian chant, etc. But somehow, nothing sends me to the foyer of heaven quite as well as this piece of Hollywood bravura. Here's a bit from YouTube. The music is easier to hear starting around 00:44. The actual movie is somewhat less inspiring to me than the music, except for evoking childhood nostalgia. But the footage below is appropriate for today's feast: