Looking to ignite your prayer life? Since today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us introduce you to a brand NEW Marian app designed to help you move beyond rote prayer of words to prayer of the heart. As you might suspect, Mary is your guide.
Brought to you by the the Redemptorists-Denver, Mary Pray for Us (Free) Apple | Android is a treasure of an app offered as a starting point to gently guide you to “renew and embrace a heartfelt friendship with God through Our Mother,” its developers note. This is accomplished through a 7-day retreat–a few minutes of instruction, reflection and prayer each day for a week–based on the Redemptorists’ signature approach to affective prayer from the heart.
Part of the process of deepening one’s prayer life (and spirituality in general) includes a bit of self-understanding which the Redemptorists weave into this app’s gentle reflections and exercises. That’s just one aspect of this religious order’s special instruction in helping us to grow closer to Jesus through Mary who is our constant spiritual companion. Indeed, the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our prayer life is intimately tied to our relationship with Jesus. The Redemptorists’ instruction should help you to re-think/re-imagine prayer.
Integral to the process is setting aside just a few minutes of your busy day, turning your cell phone into a “refuge of peace and consolation,” developers note, as you engage the reflections designed to encourage you to begin to talk to Mary in your own words. Just as we experience in contemplating the famous icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, we can become closer to Jesus through his Mother’s gentle aid, encouragement and consolation. That’s what this app taps into so effectively.
Mary Pray For Us offers a couple important features to help nurture your commitment to daily instruction and prayer: the ability to set daily reminders and an option to listen to the daily reflections. These are YouTube videos focusing on an image of Our Lady which you can play in landscape so your screen is filled with the beautiful imagery. Listening to the reflection certainly helps to reinforce what we have read. A notable bug in this feature is the fact that clicking the YouTube video brings us to the YouTube site with no means of returning to the app–a distraction, but only if you tap that video once it’s through playing.
As an added bonus, you have the ability to light a virtual candle before you pray. While this is a nice idea, we note the interface was a bit clunky and a portion of the screen was cut off along the left side of our iPhone.
So that you are not entirely alone in prayer at the time of your retreat, you may opt to join a virtual group praying in your region of the world generally beginning the first Monday of the month. The selection button didn’t activate in our trial, but we still received a confirmation message.
Finally, the app offers YouTube videos from Redemptorist Brother Dan Korn, C. Ss.R. who instructs with a tender passion and zeal for the Mother of God. Check out one of his videos below.