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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Shhhhh! Monks In Session

What do you do with a bunch of guys who have walked far down the wayward path? Borderline Satanism-sadism, hatred of God and everyone else, casualties of war, and rebellion against any kind of rule or regulation are just a few pit stops on this trail. The only gravity pulling these men back from the pit stops along the trail to Hell is The Monastery. Enter the monks.

If you thought Catholic school was tough, try taking a gander at The Monastery on TLC. The faith-wavering men have entered into the secluded community in a canyon of monks where rules are life and life is confusing when you’re not a monk in a monk’s world. The basic idea of living in the monastery is discipline. We’re not talking boot camp or grade school or dog training discipline. We’re talking religious discipline, where the rule maker is God. And you thought you had it bad with those nuns and rules about the knee socks of your uniform.

While the men can’t speak directly to God, they do have to answer to the Head Monk In Charge, who I will now refer to as HMIC, which may be my ticket to Hell, but I’ll risk it. The HMIC is a soft-spoken man in a long robe and little beanie hat who doles out duties. Beneath him are other men in robes who carry around Bibles, books, and incense. They speak softly too. Come to think of it, all the monks whisper quite often if they even speak at all.

You know who doesn’t whisper? The non-monks who are beyond confused. They find it hard to follow the rules about which rooms you can talk in and whose schedule you have to follow. Some days they have to ring a bell. Some days they have to dance the hula. They have to sing. They have to pray. They have to forgive and forget. They have to give themselves over to the HMIC, which means giving themselves over to God. And they have to shave their heads.

The shaving of the heads is what really sets most of them off. You would think they’re the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders with the way they grumble about giving up their hair. They’re guys! They can shave their heads and not be ridiculed. One doesn’t do it at all, which I don’t quite understand because that doesn’t show much discipline and he still gets to stay.

The men start to come around to the religious ways. They each latch on to a monk they are particularly fond of. One has confession with a brother and winds up in a puddle of tears on a rock in the valley. Another one gets so into bell duty that he finds joy in the ringing of the bell on the hour every hour. If he misses a toll, he screws up the entire monastery so he feels empowerment through humility. The HMIC’s discipline trickles down into their hearts and minds one prayer at a time.

[b] And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: Monks have been completely ignored in pop culture since the days of Monty Python, and gosh dangit it’s about time they get their props once again.

Now I’m a Catholic gal so I kinda get it. I’m a lapsed Catholic, too, so I kinda get it even more. But even for people who aren’t of any Christian faith, you should watch at least one episode, just to see the hermit who’s looking forward to the glorious adventure of death. He’s not as morbid as you would think.

Say a little prayer for me and send it to Christina@realityshack.com. Chat in the forums about The Monastery. Or [b][url=http://christinamrau.blogspot.com]Live The Dream[/url] [/b] one loser at a time with me.


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