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 CatholicMom 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.
If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkein and his writings, have we got a treat for you this time around! The one and only Kaitlyn Facista of Tea With Tolkien fame has joined the team, and she’s bringing all the Tolkien-nerd-fest type of stuff you’ve been craving. And not only does she expound upon the life of the incredible author and his legendary works, but she also looks at him and everything he did through the Catholic lens they deserve.
Woven throughout the life of J. R. R. Tolkien are two common threads: a profound love for the Catholic faith and a remarkable passion for language and literature. Tolkien admits that many elements of his stories, while not formally allegorical, resemble aspects of our own world and hold Catholic truths that can be applied to our lives. His stories highlight the great struggle of good versus evil, echoing the Christian story of salvation. He coined the term “eucatastrophe” to describe a sudden, unexpected happy turn when all hope is lost. It is through eucatastrophe that Middle-earth is ultimately saved, and it’s worth noting that Tolkien referred to Christ’s Resurrection as the greatest eucatastrophe of all.
Kaitlyn goes on to show why Tolkien’s stories are such powerful tools for evangelization, precisely because he wasn’t explicitly trying to evangelize:
Tolkien didn’t set out to evangelize via story; he simply set out to tell a story. But because he himself was so immersed in his faith, his Catholic worldview shone through in an incredibly powerful way. The Lord of the Rings doesn’t need to lean on Catholicism as a crutch; instead, it can stand on its own as a well-written work of literature. Encouraged by Tolkien’s example, we should pursue our passions wholeheartedly, confident that when we are rooted in our faith others will see it.
She, of course, closes out her contribution on Tolkien and The Lord of The Rings by encouraging all readers to pick up a copy of the great trilogy the next time they find themselves in their local library or used bookstore, and while I’m more of a Hobbit fan personally (because I’m a 37-year-old child, as Kaitlyn has reminded me), I just know you’re going to love everything Kaitlyn brings to the table in this incredible contribution to the book!
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