Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see his banner go!
On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began with the Battle of Fort Sumter. For four long years that war raged, ultimately killing 655,000 Americans. There were a myriad of reasons for the war, and those causes continue to be hotly debated today, some one-hundred sixty-plus years later. Who was right? I suppose that depends on where your historical sympathies lie. But two things are certain: the Union won the Civil War, and the victor always writes the history to explain to future generations what is right and wrong in order to justify the victory and consequent death.
New Civil War
As I write these words, we are engaged in a new Civil War. We are watching our Church and our country violently dissolve before our very eyes. By “violently” I mean a violent war of words and non-lethal actions against the Body of Christ and the Constitution. The question is, can or will we Catholics allow that to continue to happen?
It doesn’t matter your political affiliation, the fact of the matter is it can’t be denied that the Church and nation are in a turmoil they haven’t witnessed since the first century and Civil War, respectively. Although there has been some minor bloodshed, little of which (if any) is reported by the major media outlets, I foresee more violence as the undeclared war continues to escalate.
One priest that I know of was physically attacked for being a pedophile, despite the fact that he had never been accused of any untoward or illegal behavior in his entire priestly career. The attacker told police that all priests are fair game for attack, because all priests are pedophiles. You and I know that the vast majority of priests are good, faithful servants of Christ, His Church and His people, but the general public doesn’t see it that way anymore, due to the highly publicized sinful behavior of a few priests and corruption among some of the hierarchy. And I predict we will see a lot more of these sorts of attacks in the future.
On the political level, the lack of civil discourse is the least of our problems. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, MS13, extreme leftist and globalist ideologies and secular democratic socialism are all causing tremendous friction in America. There have been numerous riots, police officers are attacked and killed on a regular basis, and peaceful pro-life protestors are brutally attacked just as regularly. America is in deep kimchi, as we used to say in the army.
Patriotism is a virtue, and this virtue applies to both our nation and (few people realize) the Church. Every Catholic has a moral obligation to be patriotic. For our country, that means being willing to lay down our lives… if need be. For our Church, that means protecting, preserving and living the 2000 years of orthodox and the constant teaching of our Fathers in the Faith who have willingly sacrificed their lives for divinely revealed truth.
But how do we Catholics do that today?
When I was at basic training in the army, after the oath I swore to defend America against all foreign and domestic enemies, they issued me a uniform, rifle and all the accoutrements of a soldier—bayonet, rucksack, web belt, etc. Then they taught me how to use the rifle, bayonet and a host of other weapons of war to be used in the defense of our nation. I became, as the army drill sergeants liked to say, a lean, mean fighting machine. Well, it’s time we Catholics became lean, mean fighting machines as well!
Weapons of Spiritual War
Army basic training and Catholic basic training—both in preparation for war—are two different critters but they do have interesting parallels. We Catholics aren’t trained to kill, even though we do try to inflict mortal wounds to Satan and his army. But we are trained to fight. Your oath to defend the faith were your baptismal vows (probably made for you by a parent) and the willing acceptance of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Your rifle is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Your grenade launchers are apologetics and patristics. Your machine gun is Sacred Scripture. The assorted weapons in your rucksack and on your web belt are an array of papal and conciliar documents throughout history. There is only one thing missing—your drill sergeant.
Meet Joe Sixpack—the Every Catholic Guy, Sergeant First Class. I have on my drill sergeant’s campaign hat, and I’m ready to help you become a lean, mean Catholic fighting machine. That’s how we get into this new Civil War—by fighting evil as Catholics.
Right now is the best, most opportune time to share our faith with other people. I know, because I’ve seen it. Many Catholics are demoralized by all that’s happened, but it shouldn’t be that way. Most non-Catholics, whether Christian or not, are all too happy to tell you all that is wrong about Catholicism and with the Catholic Church. But I’ve found that you can turn that around on them by setting the record straight, and that will almost always lead to an opportunity to evangelize. But you’ve got to know what you’re doing, so that means going to basic training.
Let me ask you a question. Are you one of those people who enlisted in the (Christ’s) army just for the benefits, or are you a patriot who is willing to sacrifice all? If you enlisted just for the benefits, don’t bother reading any further; you’re going to be sorely disappointed anyway. (I’m talking about Judgement Day.) But if you’re a patriot who joined with the willingness to give your all, keep reading.
Each and every week, I conduct basic training for Catholics through webinars. In case you’re unaware, webinars are like seminars or workshops done in a virtual meeting room online. If you’ve got an internet connection, you can begin going to basic training.
In this Catholic basic training, I will teach you everything you need to know—catechetics, apologetics, Church history, patristics, moral theology, sacramental theology, and more. There are only two things I cannot do: make you come to Catholic basic training, and advocate for you at your judgement; I can teach you and pray for you now and into eternity, though. All you have to do is visit JoeSixpackAnswers.com and enter your email in the form on the site to get invitations to these free webinars. The webinars are free! So onward, Christian soldier!