OK, I can hear someone saying "Are you serious? More hopeful than ever? Perche? Tu pazz'????"
No I am not crazy, I am serious. & this is why.
Before that I would like to say a little on what I see are a couple of reasons Obama was re-elected.
1st of all, what I will call the "panem et circenses
(bread & circuses)" factor. For those of you unfamiliar with history, this is a reference to the ancient Roman practice of politicians providing free food & entertainment to distract the people from the real political problems while winning their support. The plan was devised about 140 BC & was effective. It was especially good at distracting the poor from their problems. It continued & eventually was a factor in the fall of the western part of the Roman empire. After the rise of Christianity, a part of those entertainment was the martyrdom of Christians. An episode of the original Star Trek referenced this. (Bread & Circuses
You may remember the reference of Romney to the 47%. Something that was taken out of context to make it sound like he didn't care about 47% of the population. Romney's choice of words was very poor. Thus people didn't get the truth of what he said, that it was this idea he was refering to. He was pointing out how Obama & the Democrats have promised so much government freebies to the poor so that they would be distracted from the real reasons for their poverty. & it has been effected. I worked at 1 of the polling places in DBQ as an official & saw many people making it very clear as they voted they were there to support Obama because of what they would get from him. The sad part is they ignored how poorly he has failed to keep his promises so far. Once again just like in the Roman empire.
Next is the "Catholic factor". Unfortunately, way too many people who claim to be Catholic but are only so in name only & have totally abandoned the real faith supported Obama. A huge part of the responsibility for this lies on teh US Bishops of the past 40 years in their failure, for the most part, to stand up & correct those "Catholycs in Name Only", especially the politicians & the LCWR gang, people in their diocese. In fact, a large number of the Bishops at various times went along with the abandonment of the faith. So we have a situation where not only are they freely supporting Obama & putting their souls at risk of eternity in Hell, they are proudly doing so & making it sound like they are the real Catholics not the heretics they really are. In additon they are abetting the attempts by Obama to destroy the Cghurch Jesus founded about 33 AD on the rock known as Peter.
What I have just said is also the basis of why I am more hopeful than ever.
It is clear from what I just said that I expect the attacks from the Obama addministration as well as those "Catholycs" to increase now that the election is over. In fact I wouldn't be surprized if 1 of the 1st announcements in his 2nd term is an HHS mandate forcing every insurance policy to pay for abortions. & probably with no deductable either. I would not be surprized if this mandate was announced on 22 January 2013, the 40th Annivsersay of Roe v Wade & Doe v Bolton, as a slap in the face of the Catholic Church & pro-life movement. I also expect the attack on pro-lifers as domestic terrorists to increase as well. It could very well lead to arrests of huge numbers of pro-lifers, faithful Catholics & even protestants who are opposed to the "culture of death". It may also lead to martyrdom somewhere down the line.
Additionally, as the Obama administration continues the way it is going with spending, debt & taxation, tied in with the imminent collapse of the European econimy, I firmly expect that all this, added to the continued rise of radical Islam. & By the use of radical, I am refering to the original meaning of the word in the Latin root. In short we will see the real face of Islam more than ever.
In the end, it could mean the end of Western Civilization, much as after the fall of the Roman empire I mentioned earlier.
Martyrdom, out & out rebellion against authentic Catholicism, the collapse of civilization? Doesn't sound like a formula for hope. But it is.
Here is why.
1st of all, I have to state that this is only a possible scenario. Everything is still in God's hands. We must continue to pray, trusting in God to handle things as He sees fit. If that means the conversion of Obama & these others, then that will happen only if we continue praying. But even if it doesn't we must continue praying & trusting, for the reasons I am about to state. Including my basis of those reasons in what history has to teach us.
Let's start with the attack of the Catholic Church from within. For that we have to go back to the start of the 4th Century AD & a Catholic priest named Arius. He didn't originate the Arian heresy, but he ran with it. The heresy denied the equality of Jesus & the Holy Spirit to God the Father. Rather, Jesus was created by the Father. The through Jesus, the Father created the Holy Spirit. The Father was the only true God. The Catholic Church, at the First Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea, condemned the heresy. This was later affirmed at the Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople. Out of this came 2 creeds, The Nicene (Niceno–Constantinopolitan) Creed& Athanasian Creed, named after St. Athanasius (more on him in a moment) were a result.
However, despite this, a huge number of Bishops supported the Arian heresy. & they had the support of the emperor for much of the 4th Century as well. So much so that Bishops who upheld the faith, like St. Athanasius & even Pope Liberius were exiled. Usually with the support of the heretical Bishops. But in the end the true teaching won out.
& while the heresies may be different, like ordaining women priests, or abortion is OK, that many Bishops support them in whole or part, & that the modern heresiarchs have the support of Obama, in the end the 2000 year old authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, given to it by Jesus, will win out.
Ditto too, despite the persecutions that are already beginning. Obama is doing its best to force the Catholic Church to pay for birth control & abortion, just like the early emporers demanded Christains worship him. They both claimed that that was all the Catholics had to do & they would be free to worship God in private. The early Christians said no, as are the faithful Catholics & the Church said no back then. Back then Catholics were arrested, often tortured & even martyred. That included many Bishops & even Popes. We could very well see the same as even Cardinal George pointed out when he said his successor could very well die in jail & the one after that be martyred. We are already seeing many Bishops make it clear they will not give in, following the example of their predicessors I already mentioned.
I can see Obama having no qualms in doing so, in part to earn the support of the modern heresiarchs, but also because he will brook no competition to his messianic delusions.
The Catholic Church survived, was purified & even thrived in those earlier persecutions. The same will be true today. God was faithful to His promise to be with the early Church. He poured out His Spirit to strengthen those facing persecution & martyrdom. & we will see the same today.
As for the collapse of civilization, any honest historian will admit that it was the Catholic Church who preserved the good of the ancient civilizations & provided the basis for the good in modern Western Civilization. (see How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
for more information.) It was able to do so through God raising up saints like Benedict, Bruno & others who started monastic orders for men & women that upheld & passed on authentic Catholic teaching. Later, God raised up men & women like Ss Francisco, Chiara (Clare) & Dominic to preach the truth. We are seeing the same today in the new groups of religious, men & women, that are springing up, as well as the reformation & renewal of older religious orders. They are countering the false teachings by the LCWR & others.
I firmly believe that, in the end, the Catholic Church will once again triumph over the adversity it is facing & that God will see that it is done. The days ahead may seem dark. We will be facing times of persecution. These times will end in purification of the Catholic Church. That will included the cleansing from it of those, laity, religious & even Bishops, who oppose the authentic teachings. For many, it may well be their repentance of their past stands & a return to upholding those teachings. Many saints & visionaries have talks of these times ahead. Not to discourage us, but to encourage us to pray & grow in holiness.
This purification may result in smaller numbers for a time. But God is not dependant on huge numbers or even powerful people. Look at the stories of the Maccabees or Gideon or David & Goliath for example. He Just calls on us to say yes to His working in & through us.
I could add much more, but by now I hope you see that why I am hopeful despite what we saw yesterday. We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus. By praying & growing in holiness now, should the time come when we face persecution, we will be equipt to face it. God will us it to purify us even more so we will grow even more in holiness. & should we have to die for the faith, then our blood will be the seed, as Tertullian pointed out (The Apology
, Chapter 50)*, of the Church that will provide much fruit for the future.
My hope is not in this world. My hope is in Jesus & His promises. Promises that I have seen kept throughout history & I know He will continue to keep until His triumphant return at the end of time.
So, even though it may not seem like we have much reason for hope & every reason to give into discouragement, just the opposite is true. We have every reason to be more hopeful than ever.
* The Apologeticus or Apologeticum as it is called in Latin could very well describe the situation we are in today. He wrote it to defend the Catholic Church against the persecution it was facing in the late 2nd Centuray AD. It once again shows the similarities of then to now & why I am right to hope we will once again be triumphant over those who attack us.