Back in the early 80's, Marine Corp bootcamp was a real eye opener. Toughness and discipline were redefined by the challenge given me by men who really took those words seriously. Likewise, my Catholic faith has reintroduced me to 'toughness' via the Paschal mystery, and discipline via 'faith, hope, and charity.' My first drill instructor toughened me through much suffering; preparing me for war. My eternal drill Instructor, however, toughens me and disciplines me for, not only the spiritual warfare of this life, but, the benefits and perfection of heaven, the Victory Land of the Love of the Lord.
So how does a man of the world emerge from the boot camp of God's Paschal Love to become like Christ?
"..we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11
Marine Corp bootcamp forms you into a fighting machine fitting the time-tested Marine Corp mold. Jesus Christ's Cross-n-Spirit bootcamp forms men and women into a merciful, charitable, and truthful person in the eternally perfect image of the Son of God, our Savior and Lord. The fire into which the Marine is tested is a physical and mental gauntlet which toughen's and disciplines in the 'art of war.' The fire into which the Catholic man and woman is tested is the fire of the Love of the Holy Spirit; a fire which, like the garden of Gethsemane, burns in obedience to the Will of the Father, painfully so against our own will, perfecting us as we choose for the Greater Good.
Marines attack. Catholics detach so that they can reengage the world, not in themselves, but in Jesus Christ.
"Sing Yahweh an new song...for...his own right hand, his holy arm, gives him the power to save." Psalm 98:1, 7-9
Marines bang down doors, blow up obstacles, shoot through enemies, and pound out victory in order to save American liberty throughout the world. Catholics, however, realize that the real Savior is not a man, nor a woman, but the God-man Jesus Christ. And though we need our temporal heroes, since there are real life temporal threats, we need, all the more, the only Savior who can save us from the 'principalities and powers' that threaten our eternal life in temptation to doubt, despair and sin.
And the Cross of Christ is the efficacious symbol of God's offensive against what is truly offensive in sin.
"For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." Matthew 25:14-30
One thing, however, is held in common between Marines and Catholics. The value of personal sacrifice! For those who die for love of nation, there is heroic respect. And, infinitely more, for those who die to themselves for the Love of God there is immediate inner peace, sanctifying grace, and a radiant life, which evangelizes more powerful than mere words; moreover, there is heroic respect heaped up in the only place where rust and moths cannot destroy in the eternal abode of the beatific vision, where heroism is rewarded in Perfect and unending Love.