Archive | January 14, 2011

Make A Joyful Noise: The Prayers of the Unvirtuous Abbey

The Following is my interview of the monks of the Unvirtuous Abbey. It was very kind of the monks to bless me with their thoughts on Christmas, life and Christianity. I also very much appreciate their honesty, candor and humor. Twitter can be used for lots of things, but it’s nice to see that some people, especially some rather mirthful monks still have it in their hearts to share joy with the world. For more Unvirtuous tweets see the Unvirtuous Abbey.

You obviously are a very popular follow on twitter; how did this happen?

It was a combination of three things. First, there is a connection between humor and hope. Second, the retweet button. Third, we are admirers of actress Jeri Ryan, who kindly first retweeted us back in August (and several times since then!)  It gave us a lot of exposure.

What inspired you monks to share your prayers with us?

After watching tweet after tweet of motivational quotes and pious prayers, the Abbey was born.

What is Christmas all about?

It’s all about the presence, silly.

How are things at the abbey and how might one help your cause?

We still have our group building activities (such as making stained glass Transformers, or debates on how Jesus’ ministry would be different if he had a Green Lantern ring). As for helping us, someone asked us for merchandise. We’re thinking Unvirtuous Abbey coffee mugs!

Is there a favored saint among the monks of the abbey?

St. Arnold, patron saint of Belgian brewers.

What kind of love/hate mail have you gotten?

We get vitriolic direct messages sometimes by people who didn’t notice the “UN” in Unvirtuous Abbey. That being said, we receive incredibly sincere prayers from people who have nowhere else to pray. One day, we received a YouTube clip of a sock puppet in Paris, France, reading one of our Tweets!

I remember your prayers to Judas. Care to elaborate on why it hurt to pee for a week?

Some people pray to saints. We always figured Judas got a bad rap in history, so we gave it a shot! We don’t recommend it.

I personally am inspired by your tweets on a daily basis, is there anyone you enjoy following?

Geeks and agnostics.

You are Catholic monks right? What order might you be? Besides french fries to go with that shake.

We don’t align ourselves with any particular religious denomination. Kang and Kodos, the aliens from the Simpsons, are Quantum Presbyterians!

If you could sum up, what Christians in social media should be doing?

Encouraging the world around them. We sent out Epiphany post  cards to people with the message, “Shine on!”

What makes the monks of the Unvirtuous Abbey happy? Sad?

What makes us happy? Knowing that we made someone laugh and/or think.

What makes us sad? Homophobia.

What are some of your favorite prayers from the past year?
We’ve only existed for six months, but these are some memorable moments. We chose 12 because there were 12 disciples:

“Blessed are you when people unfollow you, block you and falsely Tweet all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11

    Lord, you who lifted a cup of wine and said, “Remember me”, we lift up our Grande Vanilla No-Foam Latte and remember you. Amen.

      For those who feel f̶o̶r̶e̶s̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ frustration with auto-correct, we p̶l̶a̶y̶ pray to the Lord

        So now, Times New Roman, Bookman Old Style, and Helvetica abide, these three. But the greatest of these is Helvetica.

          For people who think it’s gullible to believe in God, yet retweet messages so they can win a free iPad. Lord, hear our prayer.

            The Science Fiction Prayer: Dear Jesus, you who are 2 of 3, we give thanks for 7 of 9. Amen.

              We pray for the kid texting how bored he is on a piece of technology that 20 years ago could have launched a space shuttle. Lord, have mercy

                Lord, you who told Lazarus to “Come out!”, we pray for religious leaders who tell people it’s wrong to do that. Amen.

                  Lord, you who told us we are only half way there, we are living on a prayer. Please, take our hand. We’ll make it, we swear. Amen

                    The Prayer of St. Jude: Na na na na na na na, na na na na, hey Jude. Amen.

                      O Lord, who brought Jonah to the shores of Niveneh, we remember the very first fail whale. Amen.

                        During the Twitter Blackout, when you thought you had no followers, it was then that Jesus Tweeted beside you.

                        What might such pious monks as yourselves teach us all about prayer?

                        Just do it. ©Nike

                        You obviously like twitter, what are some of the highlights of the twitter universe for you?

                        Jesus was the original Tweeter. The Beatitudes are essentially 140 characters of blessings. Twitter gives people the chance to be the blessing.

                        ———
                        Lord, we thank you for the monks of the Unvirtuous Abbey, whose tweets and bling inspire us daily. May we be the blessing. Or at the very least, may we not end up as dressing on the salad of indifference.

                        It was great talking to the monks, and I hope this has blessed you too. Thanks monks, for all you do. You rock monks, you rock indeed.

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