In times of crisis like ours, there is the constant temptation for discouragement. The challenges we face are indeed great. All around us, there are signs of decadence and decay. Instead of great hope, many will greet the year 2022 with gloom and anxiety.
The proper balance is neither underestimating our dire situation nor engaging in undue optimism about the future. Reality requires us to face the future resolutely without illusions.
However, God never abandons those who confide in Him. In the wreckage of our disastrous era, we can discern His loving Providence and graces that should inspire us to engage and change our decadent culture.
Small and unexpected reactions appeared in 2021 that reveal profound movements to resist the forces of disorder. They represent significant minorities that block the processes of decadence and decay. These movements should give us reason to hope.
Thus, we can list five hopeful signs from the past year to encourage and inspire us in 2022.
A Vibrant Reaction Against Critical Race Theory
The degree of success of the left’s cutting-edge issues measures its progress. In the wake of the Black Lives Matters violent “peaceful” protests, CRT became a burning issue of the day. Every major media gave it unqualified support. Every educational establishment sought to implement its ideas in school curricula at all grade levels.
The parents’ revolt of 2021 put an end to the program. Like Common Core before it, parents of all races turned boring school board meetings into the front lines of the Culture War. They objected to a narrative that would turn Americans against Americans and encourage hatred of the nation. Its class struggle dialectics have no place in the classroom.
By the end of 2021, CRT advocates were denying the issue even existed, which is a sure sign of defeat. They even went to the point of saying that CRT was a purely academic subject that never reached the lower grades, despite evidence to the contrary.
Questioning “Transgender” Ideology
In a similar vein, parents have also questioned the entrance of “transgender” and other sexual-themed ideology into the classroom and sports. The aggressiveness of this revolution is shocking as school counseling services work to transition young people to mutilate themselves to appear like the opposite sex without informing the parents. These developments are waking up many, with sections of the public now resisting these efforts in significant ways.
The reactions and protests against Drag Queen Story Hours have become a rallying cry against the LGBTQ+ agenda. Protests have increasingly driven these events underground as libraries are reluctant to publicize these scandalous occasions that attack children’s innocence.
All these efforts prove that it is still possible to resist the cutting edge issues of the left and win. We might yet add the pushback from the Build Back Better Bill and other matters as further proof. These reactions destroy the myth that it is impossible to stop issues that the left sets in motion. It should encourage us to think about future victories.
Examples of Heroism
We should be encouraged by the appearance of acts of heroism over the past year. Our individualistic age teaches us not to take risks that endanger our safety. Such days of daring are supposed to be long gone.
However, 2021 saw cases that remind us that American heroism is not dead. We are still capable of deeds that touch the sublime. Ironically, the shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan saw individual acts of heroism by Americans who defied the dangers and saved those fellow Americans and others endangered by the coming Taliban regime. These Americans displayed grit. They helped find ways around the problems and showed unyielding courage in the face of danger. They got the job done.
When tornadoes recently touched down in Kentucky and surrounding states, Americans likewise displayed amazing heroism. There were cases of workers shielding older people with their bodies. Rescue efforts united Americans from every walk of life to aid others without regard for self.
People capable of heroism are a sign of hope for the nation that should encourage us in 2022.
An Attraction to Tradition
Great disorder naturally triggers a search for order. People look for reassuring ways to affirm themselves and find certainties.
Last year saw large numbers of families and individuals searching for tradition. Traditional Latin Masses doubled and tripled their attendance as Catholics sought this most sublime expression of their Faith. Numerous conversions testified to the work of grace among the public.
A similar movement to homeschooling took place after the disastrous failure of the education establishment to weather the COVID crisis online. The crisis caused many to evaluate their options and seek a more traditional and personal way to educate, excluding CRT and other toxic influences.
This attraction to tradition occurs despite all the contrary influences and media bias. So many Americans make great sacrifices and efforts to be faithful to this grace. This steadfastness in the face of adversity should give us hope for 2022.
Recourse to Public Prayer
A final inspiration for a nation in decay is the increasing number of people who see the role of public prayer in addressing the nation’s problems. Wherever people protest, we can see them engaged in prayer and confiding in God’s aid.
Over the year, there have been tens of thousands of rosary rallies protesting the abolish-the-police movement, CRT, Drag Queen Story Hours, same-sex “marriage,” the LGBTQ agenda and other cultural themes. For example, America Needs Fatima’s public square rosary campaign organized over 17,000 separate rallies to pray for the nation in October.
We might also mention the countless hours of Eucharistic adoration in thousands of chapels nationwide. God will not despise the entreaties of humble and contrite hearts.
As long as there are people engaged in public prayer, there are grounds for great hope, for Almighty God is more powerful than His enemies.
Reasons for Hope
Indeed, the state of the nation is dire. We have reached unimaginable depths of decadence and immorality. We must never lose sight of this reality. This decay will be a source of immense suffering for everyone in the coming year.
However, we must also look at the hopeful elements from which unexpected graces and conversions can come. A nation that reacts to and questions the evils of the day, practices acts of heroism, adheres to tradition and prays in the public square should give us reasons for hope.