Recently I had the occasion to chat with some friends of mine on the happenings of the day. One of the friends is a practicing Catholic and one is not much of anything. As different as these folks are, they had similar thoughts on the future. The near future. The Catholic friend told me that she feels that all the events of the last forty years are coming to a head. That the time is now. Tribulation. Triumph.

I appreciate her point of view and admit that I wonder sometimes myself. The next day I had a conversation with a slightly left leaning friend of mine. As is typical of us, we began chatting about the events of the past months. Initially hopeful about the election of Obama (although he won’t tell who he voted for. I think he is scared of me.) he has since soured. Remarkably, although not in the same terms or context, he also senses that the U.S. and the world are facing dramatic crises and changes in the not too distant future. He sees a poorer world, a simpler world. A new world having gone through the crucible of what is to come.

Two very different people and perspectives but with a common vision. Something is coming. Something soon. Something that will change everything.

In writing this post I have reflected on all that has transpired just since the new year. Stock market crashes, attacks on the Pope, attacks on the Church (from inside and outside), the funding of embryonic child destruction, and so much more.

For certain the Church and our country have been through worse crises. It is also certain that the Church, eventually, will triumph. But I can’t help but wonder. My friends feel it, I think I may feel it too. Something is coming, perhaps already begun. It is not pessimism, I don’t think, and it is not resignation either. I am still prepared for the fight however long it takes. But I realized when I decided to write about my friends sense of the future, I feel it too.

Is something coming? Do you feel it?