May 11, 2007

Bob Jack

Sometimes for no reason I can see but grace, I just feel grateful for someone God has given me along the way.

When I was 17 or so, with no idea that just three years later I would be baptized in the Catholic Church, I had my first "spiritual director." Bob Jack was one of the punks we hung out with, going to record stores and shows. He made a lasting impression on me.

He made every effort to avoid having money. "The tool of the system," he called it. Being a bit of an artist, he tried to live by barter. He would paint the designs and slogans that punks wanted on their jackets in exchange for food.

He was "straight edge," so he never drank or did drugs. But sometimes he would try to make his friends get drunk so he could "examine them pretense removed," to see if they were genuinely committed to punk values or if they were posers at heart.

I had no idea--thank God!--that all of this was the proximate preparation for my Christian and Franciscan vocation.

So today I'm grateful to God for the spirit of gratitude. Gratitude is an antidote to many sins and miseries.


Anonymous said...

I looked through the wiki on punk ideology you linked to. It seems like there were so many numerous and contradictory ideologies there that the only real similarity was a kind of existential authenticity.

What was your experience?

Was there something about punk per se that contributied to your conversion, or was punk the catalyst for or an expression of some kind of existential crisis?

Such a crisis is what converted Kiko Arguello--although his was pre-punk.

Charles of New Haven said...

Thanks, Anonymous. That cracked me up. It's true that the Wiki says so much that it doesn't actually say anything!

I think what was important for me was the simple sense that one ought to question the received values-that what the world told you was the right or best things wasn't always the case. My punk roots just provided me with a "critical turn," though it was one with a social edge.

Charles of New Haven said...

And I'll follow up on Argüello; you've piqued my interest!

freddie said...

what a key word in our life. I mean gratitude, maybe Francis would use "to give back". I think that if we do it, we shall understand, everyday in a better way, all the gifts he's always gives us.
Pace e Bene
br.Freddie OFM

Jeff said...

Maybe you post something comparing and contrasting Punk values with Franciscan ones. You already touched on povery as a commonality. Lets have a Francis for Punks entry.

BTW, thanks for visiting my blog. The post you commented on was a tad old, but I appreciared your words anyway.

bluepanjeet said...

Hi Charles. I also had the same experience. Mine was when I was in the formation. I had this mentor who really taught me about so many things which made me what I am today. I am still grateful to him and to the rest of my capuchin mentors up to this day. Actually I made a little thank you article about him on my blog

Ron Ojeda OFM Cap

BTW im a former capuchin seminarian, left voluntarily because of family matters. Im quite new in the blogosphere. I found your site through the St. Blogs in which my blog is also listed. I'm still on the point or making contacts with fellow bloggers.

if you want to know more about me and my blog, here is my author page:

The Author

I also made a link for the capuchin vocations so that in my own little way I could promote the franciscan spirit.


thanks you so much bro for the great reads. I subscribed already to your feed to keep me updated.

Pax Et Bonum!

BC said...

So rad. I grew up punk and while thee are many different scenes within the culture, the overwhelming attitude is a rebellion against the mainstream. I think that this valuse is central to the Faith in that we are not to be conformed to the world, but be transformed in the image of Christ. My wife and I are gratefull to God that we come from this background.
Grace and Peace to you.