December 2, 2023
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
— C.S. Lewis, 1898-1963
British writer, literary scholar, and Anglican lay theologian
I learned about it from Facebook. Hallow, a Catholic-oriented meditation, prayer, and sleep app, launched five years ago when lapsed Catholic Alex Jones (not that Alex Jones) sought something deeper from his practice of secular meditation. He began to connect with the rituals and practices of his childhood and found that he could meld the two and arrive at a new place.
I knew nothing about this site until yesterday, when an ad appeared in my Facebook feed showing Liam Neeson inviting me to pray with him during the coming season of Advent. Liam Neeson, whose Irish accent and craggy good looks enchant me, will narrate daily meditations from the work of C.S. Lewis. You can sign up for free for this period, and then decide if you want to continue.
Neeson grew up Catholic in the Protestant stronghold of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. (My Irish forbears are from County Tipperary in the Republic of Ireland, a long way to go.) As a member of a minority group, he learned caution. It helped shape his sometimes outspoken social activism. Rather than being a hollow shell of a celebrity concerned only with the success of his next movie, he is a man of depth who seeks to keep growing in wisdom, age, and grace. He is a follower of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.
I’m excited to start this. It will complement Prepare the Way, a guide by Sr. Jean Evans, also an Ignatian practitioner, that I have used for almost forty years.
I took today’s title from a memory of my daughter, Lynn DeAngelis April, saying the Lord’s prayer when she was about three: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hello to your name.” She, too, has grown in wisdom, age, and grace. Look her up!