Back in the Fall of 2017, a few friends and I released a book from Ave Maria Press called The Catholic Hipster Handbook. It was a fun little title that explored the beautifully obscure parts of our faith and encouraged readers to rediscover and embrace all the weird and sacred stuff our Catholic faith holds dear.
Two years later, Ave Maria Press has offered an opportunity for me and an entirely different group of friends to help readers go even deeper. Catholic Hipster: The Next Level – How Some Awesomely Obscure Stuff Helps Us Live Our Faith with Passion is set to hit local Catholic bookstores and gigantic online peddlers this November 8, and I’m here to give the hip readers of Catholic Mom a few sneak peeks before they can get their hands on the real deal.
This time around, we’re trying to help readers come away with practical suggestions for growing in their relationship with Christ and His Church. As I note in the book’s conclusion:
That is precisely the aim we tried to achieve with Catholic Hipster: The Next Level. We wanted to make sure we weren’t simply leaving you with interesting ideas and realizations you may not have stumbled upon before. We wanted to make sure we were giving you an action plan, a way to direct your life toward giving yourself more completely to God and his Church.
From picking up new and powerful devotions, to considering a third order, to taking a stand for social justice, to accompanying those around you through a difficult time, the suggestions offered in this book have hopefully armed you with a list of things to get started on as you strive to deepen and strengthen your Catholic faith.
In an increasingly secular world, being Catholic is starting to feel like the only thing that makes any sense. And as we watch our own Church come to terms with its sins both past and present, we see more than ever before the importance of reflecting on our own holiness and making an effort to answer that universal call that God has offered to us all.
One of the topics that really touched my heart, by returning contributor Sr. Brittany Harrison, FMA, is titled “The Art of Accompaniment: Journeying with Others in Faith.” In it, Sr. Brittany helps us see the value in journeying with others, in sticking with them on the path the Lord has called them to, and she shares exactly how we can do it in real-world practical terms.
She opens with:
When we consider the term ‘accompaniment,’ we may visualize helping an elderly person cross the street or holding a little girl’s hand as she skips down the sidewalk. Accompaniment can seem like a mere supervisory activity rather than an expression of a relationship that leads both people toward Christ, but it’s actually a very biblical way to grow in holiness with our friends and those whom we love.
She then goes on to explain how Christ Himself laid out the blueprint for how we are to accompany our sisters and brothers:
Our model of accompaniment is Jesus himself as seen in his encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (see Luke 24:13–35). In reading this scripture, we find a perfect model of accompaniment as Jesus lays out the process for us:
1. Join—“Jesus himself came near and went with them” (Luke 24:15).
2. Dialogue—“And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’” (Luke 24:17).
3. Explain—“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27).
4. Respect autonomy—“As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them” (Luke 24:28–29).
5. Lead to Christ—All of this culminates in a Eucharistic encounter with Christ in verses 30–35.
In accompanying others, we not only help them to find their way to Christ, but also live our own lives in a more Christ-like way, which will impact us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.
Just like last time around, Catholic Hipster: The Next Level also introduces us to cool saints, forgotten prayers, and ways that we can put what we have just read into action (a new section called “Living the Faith”).
If you read the original Catholic Hipster book, you’ll be sure to love this one even more. If you didn’t, give this new one a shot, and let me know what you think!
You can preorder Catholic Hipster: The Next Level – How Some Awesomely Obscure Stuff Helps Us Live Our Faith with Passion on Amazon right now!
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Copyright 2019 Tommy Tighe