Welcome back to The Practical Catholic, I hope you like the new layout, I know I do. I decided to start a new category to highlight the “best of” be it in movies, culture, online, or just generally Catholic manifestations of pure-awesome. Under this category expect to find me writing about fellow bloggers, as well as blogs I read and frequent. I usually lurk, leaving few comments, but this is a small way i can make up for all that. Anyways, this week’s feature, and the first feature of the Highlights here at the Practical Catholic is something that The Secret Vatican Spy turned me onto.
MONKROCK is not a band, or a music style, or a reaction to punk rock. It’s far more awesome than that. Taken from their website:
MONKROCK is a lifestyle company, a cultural movement, a brand community for modern traditionalists, emerging new monastics, hip non-hipsters, or those who simply want to live more like a monk.
I know that if there are any youth and young adults out there serious about faith sometimes you need direction. This movement, this MONKROCK culture is all about going that extra step and developing an active spirituality, and giving your faith a challenging yet fulfilling backbone. Also, the shirts are really cool, sometimes snarky, and always hip-but-not-hipster. They are really cool, and are adapting traditional Catholicism into contemporary culture without watering down the message.
Their biggest point is: You don’t have to pray 16 hours a day in a cave to have a monastic lifestyle. I’ll let you read the MONKROCKers in their own words.
The MONKROCK Manifesto says:
MONKROCK, unlike punk rock (and other such anti movements), is not a reaction to the mainstream or popular culture or the status quo; and NO, MONKROCK is not a reaction to punk rock. MONKROCK, unlike punkrock, is not rebellion; and NO, it is not “rebellion of rebellion”. MONKROCK seeks to be proactive and not reactive, contemplative and not impulsive, virtuous not licentious, existing for reconstruction over deconstruction, Tradition over novelty, restoration over Revolution. -Little Francis Bernadette, Owner, Founder, and MONKROCKer
The Entire manifesto is worth reading and with the Manifesto you should also look into Transitus, who will be the subject of a future highlight at some point. Transitus is basically MONKROCK in action, they’re a lay order in full communion with Rome, and seeking to develop serious spirituality in common across all of Christianity.
What’s Awesome about MONKROCK:
1. New Evangelization
Monkrock is all about engaging the faithful with a challenging life that lends itself to participation in The New Evangelization. They use social media, new media, fashion and culture in ways that are sometimes counterparts of the NOTW campaign in Evangelical culture, but Monkrock has a backbone. It lends itself to a spiritual formation.
Monkrock asks the faithful Catholics to share their faith, to engage in spiritual formation and to be more pro-active about sharing their beliefs. The movement is Christocentrically shaped, it has other aspects of spirituality in it, but by rejecting any one particular spirituality, they are saying that they are in pursuit of Christ.
2. Tradition Done Well
As a convert to Catholicism, I have a strong passion for ecumenical work, and drawing people together. Transitus, which is the spiritual order associated with Monkrock seeks to be Traditionalist in the modern world. It appeals to Orthodoxy over clandestine elitism. It rejects the idea that traditionalism is reserved for the embittered, the angry and the old. It revives the spirit of Orthodoxy within the faithful, without making statements to the derision of other or newer Catholic personalities, groups, or popes. It does not ally itself with elitism, but with the pursuit of Christ. I can respect that, and you should too.
3. All Are Called
The final thing I appreciate is that it takes Catholic spirituality seriously. Everyone is supposed to be called into serving the Church. They quote Chrysostom on the Christian life and I cannot help but emphatically agree.
The Holy Scriptures do not know any distinctions. They enjoin that all lead the life of monks. You greatly delude yourself and err, if you think that one thing is demanded from the layman and another from the monk; since the difference between them is in that whether one is married or not, while in everything else they have the same responsibilities… Because all must rise to the same height; and what has turned the world upside down is that we think only the monk must live rigorously, while the rest are allowed to live a life of mediocrity.
– St. John Chrysostom