Por QueEstelle Gonzales Walgreen
Does Finding God on my iPhone Mean I Won’t Go to Hell?
“I am practically blind from all the holy water thrown at me”
As one of 33 million Catholic Latinos in the U.S. I am well versed on the rosary, novenas, penance and the versatile uses of holy water when one is in hot water. And as an American born and raised in this country I am also well versed in looking for ways to do things more efficiently and quickly.
The problem with Catholic religion is it is neither efficient nor quick. I have spent a lifetime crafting excuses not to go to mass, let alone daily mass, which both my parents partake of. I have fibbed about doing my penance prayers – please note that as you get older, crankier and bitter your sins are greater and penance prayers can theoretically take weeks to finish. The other problem with Catholicism amongst Hispanics or at least this Hispanic is its omnipresence – its everywhere.
I will never live down my family’s use of crucifixes, Virgen de Guadalupe statues and life-size rosary’s as home décor and their showing no shame for it. I am practically blind from all the holy water thrown at me from my mamita’s Lady of Fatima plastic icon (that never seems to be empty even though her trip to Portugal was 15 years ago) and practically invalid from kneeling at so many novenas. I wake up in a cold sweat when I remember my former parish priest Fr Maniola looking down at me with scorn when I tried to get change from the offertory basket or when he discovered I was selling tape recorded prayers for classmates to use in the confessional and when he screamed at me (yes priests scream) for lying about reading my new bible noticing I hadn’t even bothered to take the plastic shrink wrap off.
Then low and behold, decades later, divine intervention. Catholicism met Steven Jobs! There are countless iApps for praying, meditating, confessing and even video streamed masses on CatholicTV.com. God – I love America and its ingenuity!!! And because I am a giving person, thanks to decades of religious indoctrination also known as catechism classes, I want to share this find with my compadres.
You can start with the iMissal application for $4.99 to get daily Mass readings and mass videos. To save time and energy I personally recommend using your video poker application while attending ‘virtual’ mass but do not try this until the Vatican confirms that finding God on your iPhone means you won’t go to hell or at least not for eternity. For religion-on-the-run and a mere .99cents get a 3-minute “renewal” to use whenever you need a spiritual pick me up, not meant to replace the afternoon toddy at the club for another type of pick me up.
Personally I am going to get the ‘iVerse Wise Bible’ so I can email their daily bible verses to my social and professional adversaries instead of the four-letter profane emails I tend to send. I will also be investing in iConfess to help organize my sins. There is a handy notepad to list all your transgressions lest you forget before your next confession. Lord Christ, I wonder what the memory chip on that app is and if its password protected.
And for the many moments I think God has forgotten me and the world he created, I will use the GPS application on iCatholic Mass Search to find the nearest church to pray in, on my hobbled knees comforted by the fact that God is everywhere even in an iPhone.