American Catholicism enters 'a new frontier' (to borrow from the trekkies) in 2013. Governmental persecution, for the first (almost) two and one-half American centuries was unheard of.
Christian blood bathes at the hands of Roman Caesars, in the Coliseum, have always been reserved for historical reflection and pious theological contemplation. But those days may be over!
The history of the Christian persecution in Rome: http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-empire/christian-persecution.htm
For a change of spirit has been swirling in the American cultural and political atmosphere, and the looming HHS title bout--between the good of religious freedom and the evil of socialized governmental control--reveals new Caesars and new Coliseum's to test the faith of the current flock of American Catholic-Christians.
Caesar, and the coming HHS Coliseum persecution: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/01/01/beware-obamacares-looming-conscience-cliff/
And the survival, if not thriving, of the American Catholic-Christian reality depends on acceptance or denial of 5 simple words!
The first word is Christ!
'Demythologized' by many a secular atheist, Jesus of Nazareth, born of the Virgin, both God and man, source and summit of the Catholic-Christian faith, Divine Mercy Incarnate, truly present in the Catholic Church, sacramentally, spiritually, and through Apostolic succession, has been picked clean, like a Thanksgiving Turkey, plucked of His Divine status, partly, and sadly, by progressive pseudo-Catholics, in search of a new messiah, and a new gospel which seeks 'social justice' on par with secular progressives. 'Christ' for traditional Catholics, means Divine Son of God, Savior. It also means heaven can only be found in His 'Way, Truth, and Life,' as defined by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Reinvention of a small 'c' christ is not True Catholicism! The True Christ of Catholic Tradition is America's only real salvation.
The Christ: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm
The second word is Real!
Catholics who receive the Eucharist while participating in, or voting for, the culture of death policies of Pro-Choice politicians miss the reality of the Incarnate Word of God 'under their roof.' And worse is the fate of Catholic Pro-Choice politicians! Jesus Christ is Life! And His Father commanded: 'Thou shalt not kill!' To mix the Life of Christ, and God's command for Life in the belly of abortion, euthanasia, and stem cell destruction is to condemn oneself to the hell of backward progressiveness.
The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05573a.htm
The third word is Incarnate!
Jesus was, is, both God and man. Fully! To bifurcate, separate, disassociate, our religious faith from our secular activities, as if there was a purely 'secular' activity, is to deny the true Catholic meaning of holiness. Evangelization, a word hijacked to mean bible thumping, really means bringing the Light of Christ to the world in everything we do! Attempts at locking Catholicism into a church building, solely for Sunday morning, is diabolical. Catholic lukewarm acquiescence is truly sinful--even if it is an omission.
The fourth word is Apostolic!
Our bishops aren't just CEO's or cheerleaders or politicians--or at least they shouldn't be! They are the successors of the Apostles, Shepherds of Christ's flock, ready to lay down their lives for the followers of Christ. Every Catholic, therefore, is to work to support the Apostolate, or the Apostolic mission of Jesus Christ in America--and in the world. This means there is no room for cafeteria Catholicism! No Pro-Choice, pro-contraception, pro-gay marriage, apostolate in the Catholic Church. None!
What is apostolic succession? http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01641a.htm
And the fifth and final word is sanctification!
St Paul warned, and exhorted us to work out our salvation with 'fear and trembling!' This means something, of course, if we have faith to believe in a Truly Present, Merciful God. This means something if we really believe in an objective Catholic morality. This means something if we haven't bought into, hook, line, and sinker, the convenient and popular lie of relativistic thinking.
Is this a fancy word for holiness? http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07386a.htm
Catholics have a responsibility to, either, follow Christ fully, or get out of the way and invent their own religion. And good luck with that!