In a few hours 2016 will end and 2017 will begin. On a personal note 2016 has been somewhat difficult owing to two family deaths, one of them immediate. With regards to Catholic and national life, it's a mixed bag from my perspective.
Of course Our Lord has promised that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. But think about the words of that promise, for Our Lord chooses His words precisely and words have precise meanings. When we talk about the gates of any institution not prevailing, doesn't that refer to that institution being under seige? In this case, wouldn't the Church then be the attacking army? Let's be very blunt about this, shall we? At this time, the Church is taking no proactive stand against any real evil whatsoever. I'm speaking primarily of the institutional Church, starting with Pope Francis himself for he constantly displays his divergence from the true mission of the Church to save souls. Instead of having the salvation of souls and fidelity to the magisterium at the forefront of its actions and very existence, the institutional church, under the deliberate impetus from this pope, not only cowers before the gates of hell but in some cases (Amoris Laetitia being only the latest example) seems to be reinforcing the gates of hell.
There are pockets of faithful Catholics who are striving to keep the faith alive. By God's grace we are finding each other and are learning to work together to counteract at least some of the mischief that emanates from the Vatican. Within the past few weeks four faithful prelates promulgated the dubia to correct errors being caused by Amoris Laetitia, and more are rallying with them. Unless the pope issues an appropriate response to the dubia, a formal correction to the errors of Amoris Laetitia will be issued. In that we rejoice and pray for while correction seems to be forthcoming, it won't come without considerable angst. In the meantime we bloggers will keep writing in the hopes of waking up fellow Catholics. In the midst of this travail, I'm stunned by how many Catholics are oblivious to the sorry state of the Church at large. While some of the blame can be laid at the feet of the official Catholic news outlets, the great bulk of it lies with the Catholics in the pews themselves. Most have internet access. With real information just a few mouse clicks away, there's simply no excuse for ignorance.
On the national front, 2017 promises to be much better than the past eight years. During the first few days of November there was much apprehension regarding the real possibility of a Hillary presidency. Many prayers, many rosaries were offered for the outcome of the election. God displayed His mercy in sparing us the scourge of four more years of a quasi-socialistic dictatorship. That's not to say that Trump will be perfect, but let's face it; Bozo the Clown would have been preferred over Hillary. Trump's election is not so much a cure as it is a reprieve. We now have some breathing room, some time, in which to work. We must pray, fast, work, educate our fellow Americans regarding our heritage. Catholics in particular must work to learn the Faith ourselves and to bring Christ's teachings into the public square.
2017 can be an opportunity to bring western civilization back from the precipace. The question now is whether or not we will avail ourselves properly of that opportunity or squander it.