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Lent: the app?

Lent: the app?

Today, we have seen the good and the ugly at the intersection of the interwebs and the church. Now it’s time for the silly…or is it?

It seems that if you want to track your Lenten discipline: what you’ve given up, what Scripture you’ve read, and what charitable acts you’ve done, there is an app for that. Here it is at the App Store

Celebrate Easter by Observing Lent!!! Lent Starts February 22nd, 2012.

Keep track of your Lent commemorations! Associate an amount with each observance, and track your commitment progress throughout the 40 Days of Lent. After Easter, you can review your progress and choose how best to celebrate or atone.

Key Features

– Start each session with an inspirational picture and quote.

– Track multiple Lent observances.

– Add your own observances.

– Statistics View shows a break down of amounts as you go

– Calendar View shows progress at a glance.

More information is available here

A former Roman Catholic makes fun of it:

On this seventh day of Lent, I’m doing pretty well…thanks to 40 Days, my Lent tracker! Yeah, someone invented an app that lets us good Catholics keep track of our Lent goals. I can’t pretend I forgot my Lenten promises or act like I thought Lent was over — nope, now I have to be accountable to Jesus and my iPhone. And there’s nothing we’re more devoted to than our Lord and Savior and that thing that does everything for us except make bowel movements and kiss our wife goodnight.

The coolest part? When I log a negative Lent score — like, I drank ginger ale because I thought it wasn’t classified as a “soda” or I whined about not getting my fifteen-minute break in time to take my allergy pill — I can choose a penalty amount. Then, at the end of Lent, I get to pick a charity to donate my Lenten eff-ups to.

Okay. The potential for silliness is high.

But if journaling is an accepted spiritual practice then why not an app? A journal is nothing more than the application of technology–in this case pen and paper– and is useful in helping think through our spiritual formation, record our growth in relationship to Christ and record our prayers

Maybe to problem is that harkens back to kind of rewards-punishment view of spirituality. After all, if I can track this on my iPhone, the idea of God keeping score in a big book–or a really big iPad–doesn’t seem so far-fetched. But just as Luther objected to getting to heaven by way of an indlugence, maybe the danger is that the tool can be confused for the relationship.

What say ye?


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Claire Carter

I don’t need an app to tell me that I am failing Lent. I swore off non-essential spending, and while we are doing well as a family as to matrial goods, we have picked up a pizza and gone out for breakfast. Unlearning habits is HARD. An app might just serve to show me how poorly I di measure up!

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