Don’t Give Up the Ship! Spiritual Warfare with Navy Discipline

On a frigid December evening in 2012, thirty-five of us lowly officer candidates at Navy Officer Candidate School (OCS) line up outside the base’s dining hall in Newport, Rhode Island. After another grueling day of military drill practice, academic classes, and inspection preparations, we are salivating at the thought of dinner. At the entrance, United States Marine Corps (USMC) drill instructors are waiting. “Say my ditty,” one of them says menacingly in his gravelly voice, with the iconic Smokey the Bear hat brim pulled low over his eyes. My stomach drops, as I know what is coming next. It doesn’t matter how loudly we say it; the result is always the same.

At the top of our lungs, the officer candidates respond, “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E! Discipline is the instant willing obedience to orders, respect for authority and self-reliance!” After another thorough ten-minute thrashing at the hands of the drill instructors in the form of squats, sit-ups, pushups, and flutter kicks for not saying this chant loud enough, we officer candidates are finally admitted into the dining hall for dinner.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the discipline that Navy OCS instilled in me provided useful tools to help me grow in the daily practice of the Faith. If we break down each piece of the OCS definition of discipline, it reveals much in how all Catholics can join the fight alongside St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the military, in our everyday struggle against evil.

Praise the Lord

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Minneapolis archbishop, priests join in prayerful George Floyd protest

Denver Newsroom, Jun 2, 2020 / 05:38 pm (CNA).- Minneapolis clergy, including Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis, participated in a silent walking protest Tuesday afternoon to the spot where George Floyd died in police custody last week, stopping to pray at the memorial that had been set up for him.

Hundreds of local leaders from Christian denominations and other religious traditions were present for the prayerful event.

“While many faiths were represented, there was great unity as we prayed for justice and peace,” Archbishop Hebda said in a tweet Tuesday.

Praise the Lord

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El Paso bishop kneels to pray at George Floyd protest

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 2, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso led several of his priests in prayer in memory of George Floyd on Monday, June 1.

Seitz is the first U.S. Catholic bishop to physically and publicly join the protests and demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality which spread across the country following Floyd’s death on May 25. 

Seitz, along with a group of priests of his diocese, knelt for nine minutes of silent prayer. The bishop held a sign reading “Black Lives Matter.”  

Praise the Lord

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Can Trump legally deploy troops? Yes, say Catholic university law profs

Washington D.C., Jun 2, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- After President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is ready to send U.S. troops into states to quell riots, law professors at Catholic universities said acting against the wishes of state governors would be counterproductive, but likely would not violate the law.

Mass protests and some riots have occurred in major U.S. cities and suburbs since shortly after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While 23 states have mobilized the National Guard to quell rioters, on June 1 Trump said he would deploy U.S. troops in states that have not done so.

Legal experts told CNA that the Insurrection Act, a law approved by Congress in 1807 and amended over the years, that allows the president to use the military on American soil in times of insurrection. But the statute is subject to a number of limitations, they said, and has historically been used in cooperation with state governors and not against their wishes.

Praise the Lord

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