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Dec 06
Finding Time for Prayer This Advent

If you're looking for a way to fit prayer into your daily routine, the Pray As You Go app may be the solution for you. Using a combination of music, Scripture and reflection questions, it aims to help you grow in your relationship with God. Avid user Frédéric Barriault explains below how incorporating this tool into his daily routine has transformed his prayer life.

1. Why did you start using the Pray As You Go app?

As a professional, a Catholic and as someone who is deeply committed to spiritual and social issues, I have found that taking care of my spiritual life on a daily basis is vital for me. Weekly Mass is great, but daily silent prayer is often better. Especially when silence is scarce — which is often for me as the father of two young boys, who is committed to many Christian social justice struggles and who also happens to be a communications officer for the Centre justice et foi, one the apostolates of Jesuits of Canada.

Needless to say, I'm always busy, yet I remain joyful and committed. I'm often exhausted both physically and spiritually. I wasn't exactly struggling in my prayer life before I started using the app, though I needed to discipline myself to make better use of those rare moments when I'm truly alone, by myself, in silence. I needed to force myself to disconnect from everything (especially my phone), so I could to turn to God to nurture my drained, strained and dried out interior life.

2. How has the app helped you fit prayer into your life? When do you use it?

I needed something like the bells of Angelus to remind me of my religious duties. I realized that I could make better use of the rare moments I am alone and in silence — often that is when I'm on the bus or subway on my way from home to work.

3. How does the sensory experience of the app enhance your prayer? (the music, the readings, the visuals) 

The developers of Pray As You Go had the great idea of using these excellent musical bridges in the form of lyrical or liturgical chants that harmonise perfectly with the Gospel of the day. These musical interludes let me, once again, dive more deeply into myself, taking me out of the outside world and allowing to speak more freely with the Lord.

4. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

I should also point out that Pray As You Go is deeply rooted in the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises. Before or after reading the Gospel, the app often uses voiceovers to lead exercises inspired by the composition of place that was so dear to Ignatius. These exercises help us use our imagination to inwardly "see," "feel," "taste" and "touch" the Word of God and follow in Jesus' footsteps. Pray As You Go also bridges contemplation and action, asking us to first let ourselves be called by a word, phrase or verse that was just read. We can then make that thought the object of our heart-to-heart prayer discussion with Jesus. We can ask Him to bless us as we live out the Word both in our actions and in the callings of the Holy Spirit.

Frédéric Barriault is a lay collaborator at the Centre justice et foi (Justice and Faith Centre), the social analysis center of the Jesuits of Canada. He is also a historian, communicator and committed Christian.

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