Cycling by far is one of the common means that Westerners use as exercise. It was thus not surprising when last year someone in my church in Austria approached me about a new initiative called “Park & Pray”. “Oh! Sure. That is an attractive way of inviting people to pray”, said I. And a board with those words was hung at our church immediately.
Apart from bringing solace to the poor and the needy, one of the important tasks that the Church engages in is to help people find God through different means — but especially through prayers. Jesus demonstrated through his life that despite being busy ministering to people during the day, he would find time at “night to go and pray in a lonely place”. Though churches, temples, mosques and gurdwaras provide good environments to pray and meditate, one can actually, like Jesus, find any quiet place to pray.
Unfortunately, the word prayer itself sometimes poses a challenge, solely because as one often hears people saying, “I don’t know how to pray”, or “the moment I begin praying, my thoughts start wandering all over”. Probably, with these problems in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to learn last week, that a Pope’s network has introduced a novel but techno-friendly method of praying the Rosary.
The Vatican website interestingly describes this new venture thus: “The ‘Click To Pray eRosary’, is an interactive, smart and app-driven wearable device that serves as a tool for learning how to pray the rosary for peace in the world. It can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of the cross. It is synchronised with a free app of the same name, which allows access to an audio guide, exclusive images and personalised content about the praying of the Rosary”. This innovation was launched by the “Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network”.
Organisers of this network say that it is within everyone’s reach. “Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where young people dwell, the ‘Click To Pray eRosary’, serves as a technology-based teaching tool to help young people pray the Rosary for peace and to contemplate the Gospel”.
Incidentally, the Church designates the month of October as Rosary month. The tradition of praying the Rosary goes back to the 13th century. Even though down the centuries its original form has changed, the Rosary remains one of the most popular ways for ordinary people to pray.
The eRosary is a new way to capture the imagination of the tech-savvy generation to pray for peace in the world. Though the Rosary is only one way of prayer, all of us, regardless of our religion and faith, can always pray for the urgent need of peace in the world, including while cycling, driving and indeed after parking....