Bible apps and Instagram accounts to bring the Word of God to your device
SR. BRITTANY HARRISON, FMA
Although I have many goals for my spiritual life, such as more frequent Adoration, more rosaries, and more personal prayer time, the one goal I always seem to fall short on is reading more Scripture. St. Jerome famously opined, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ,” and I feel rather shamefaced whenever I hear that. It’s not that I’m not familiar with the Scriptures, but I don’t spend as much time with them as I’d like. St. Paul reminds us that “the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). What can a busy modern catechist do to embrace more Scripture in daily life? Here are a few app- and Instagram-based suggestions.
Word Alert—iOS only
Word Alert is my favorite app to remind me to focus on Scripture each day. It’s based on the simple concept of utilizing a device’s notifications to inject a little Scripture.
Each day, at a time I’ve chosen, I get a notification with a “Scripture Verse of the Day.” It’s usually a few sentences, but I often find it speaks directly to what I am going through each day. Scriptures can be marked as favorites or shared via text message, email, or social media. See more at CATmag.us/2Lm9dzu.
Ever wanted to feel like a biblical scholar, but don’t have room for the many books? Bible Hub offers the ability to look up any Scripture verse in dozens of translations, search commentaries, and even research the original language of a verse to dive more deeply into the nuances of the words. The app simply refers the device to the correct part of the Bible Hub website, but if you’re intimidated when trying to navigate the internet, it’s an easy way to leverage Bible Hub’s resources. Visit BibleHub.com/app.
The Relevant Radio app, for me, is a hidden gem. It integrates live radio feeds and show podcasts such as Father Simon Says (which always begins with a Scripture Word of the Day) and the St. Josemaria Institute (which has excellent homilies on Sunday Mass readings). The “Pray” section offers quick access to the daily Mass readings. I use this app every day to enrich my faith, learn from Fr. Simon, and access Mass readings. See CATmag.us/2s5NkeW.
iBreviary is a Catholic power app. Catholic priests and religious are required to pray the Divine Office (a collection of psalms, various Scripture readings, and intercessions) several times a day. Laypeople are welcome to join this practice, and iBreviary makes it easy. Those looking to start should begin with the short night prayer called Compline, traditionally prayed after dark. In addition to the Divine Office, the daily Mass readings, a missal, and Catholic prayers, rites, and rituals are offered within the app. As a religious sister, I use this app every day. Find it at iBreviary.org.
Some Instagram accounts offer frequent Scripture posts that integrate beautiful Scripture images. After you follow an account, you can tap on the three little dots near its name to get “turn on post notifications” to be alerted every time they share something, or you can simply follow them and check in from time to time. Here are some accounts to get started:
Sr. Brittany Harrison, FMA, or “Sister B,” as she is known to young people and on Twitter (@sisterb24), is a Salesian sister of St. John Bosco and the Campus Minister and Chair of the Theology Department at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, New Jersey. She is a regular contributor on Relevant Radio, and enjoys using social media to evangelize and give people a glimpse into the lives of women religious.