At first glance, meditation and Catholicism may not seem connected, but the practice has long been part of Church tradition.
Meditation is a beneficial method of intentionally cultivating peace in an otherwise loud and busy society, but it can be spiritually problematic or dangerous to practice yoga or other religions’ meditation disciplines, which may lead to contact with malevolent forces.
In answer to this, the popular app Hallow offers a way for laity to practice Catholic meditation and daily prayer. It's available both in Apple's App Store and on Google Play.
What's It Like to Pray With Hallow?
Praying with Hallow is doable because the prayers vary in length: you could meditate on all the mysteries of the Rosary or just choose a one-minute Scripture meditation.
There are lots of podcast-style prayers, which is not usually my thing, but I really like not looking at my phone while I pray. It also feels more in the style of communal prayer, such as Liturgy of the Hours.
One of my most peaceful memories is of participating in Compline, the Liturgy of the Hours night prayer, in youth group. We prayed a simple call-and-response of psalms and Scriptural prayers, focusing our minds on the coming Resurrection of the dead and giving thanks for the day.
And, Hallow has podcast versions of Compline for every night of the week!
There's Also Music on Hallow
While the app is centered around meditative prayer, it also offers a host of options for different kinds of prayer.
When I first opened Hallow, the “praylists” caught my eye: playlists of worship music organized by theme. Worship music is much more attractive to me if I know it’s Catholic, because I can better trust the theology, and because the songs are more centered on Catholic themes such as the Eucharist or saints
I also enjoy supporting Catholic artists, from religious orders, to indie folk musicians.
I found the app useful recently when I led a women’s retreat at my university. I wanted to incorporate the Litany of Trust, but I didn’t have much information on it.
I searched it on Hallow and found audio recordings of the sister who wrote the litany talking about how she began it, as well as of her leading the listener in praying it. Listening to her helped me focus on the prayer and offered insights I hadn’t thought of before.
Other Offerings on Hallow
Hallow also offers a variety of programs for learning about the Faith and participating in the yearly liturgical life of the Church. These include daily gospel reflections, Father Mike Schmitz’s Catechism in a Year and Bible in a Year (for a review of BIAY, click here), and devotional or theological study series.
Jonathan Roumie (the Catholic actor who plays Jesus in The Chosen which launches July 16 on broadcast net The CW), Father Mike Schmitz, Sister Miriam Heidland, Bishop Barron and other speakers lead talks and meditations, as well.
Roumie even did a commercial for Hallow:
What Does Hallow Cost?
In conclusion, the app’s subscription is just $4/month for premium, which is “less than a latte,” and definitely worth it, especially if you’d like to grow your spiritual life through daily prayer or meditation.
Here's a demo of how the app works:
Image: Adobe Stock/Hallow logo
Sophia Sariego is a Los Angeles native working in the pro-life movement. She loves Eucharistic Adoration, making music, and hitting the beaches in her spare time.