I have officially found my tech limit.
As someone who loves gadgets, computers, the Internet, and the like, my own reaction to the news the there is an app for the rosary came as a bit of a surprise to me! And yet, there it is. When I heard about the app my first thought was not, "Wow, what a great way to expose people to a beautiful prayer!" or "What a creative use of technology to evangelize!" even though (in hindsight) both of these responses would be accurate. My first response was actually, "Ugh."
In my defense the rosary has been a part of my spirituality since I was a child. I have one that was blessed by the pope and smells like roses, one from Ireland made of green marble cut into rectangular beads that offer just the right feel while praying it and one that belonged to my grandmother. The rosary is a fully sensory experience of prayer for me, one that is not only tactile and meditative but also connected to family, tradition and memories. The idea that somehow an app on a smartphone could provide the same complexity of experience is simply beyond my ability to accept, even if it does offer the possibility of more people giving this wonderful devotion a try.
On the plus side, my reaction to the app has given me a little insight into the hesitancy I have encountered by others who are not as enthusiastic about some new piece of technology. Sometimes it’s not just fear of the unknown or an unwillingness to change that can stop people from trying something new. It can be the recognition that there is something important lost in the process. I will try the virtual rosary and see if I can incorporate it into my prayer life in some meaningful way (I wouldn’t want to be a bad example of actually trying out new technology!. But I also will try and be a bit more understanding toward those who struggle with new ways of doing things. Another growing moment for me. Grumble.